Better Speech 2 min read

Accent Reduction Tips – Numbers

People from all over the world and in various professions learn how to have an American English accent. They might be scientists, engineers and software developers and something that is of critical importance is knowing how to clearly and accurately pronounce numbers with an intelligible American accent.

Table of numbers

Here are some quick tips for accurately pronouncing numbers with an American accent. You can also schedule a free consultation with one of our speech therapists to find out if accent modification would be beneficial for you.

When people are learning English as a second language, they count numbers with the same stress pattern as their native language. Or they might even use a flat, monotone voice. But in Standard American English, the type you hear when listening to the news on TV, numbers are pronounced with unequal stress or emphasis within the word. There are even differences depending on the situation. These subtleties are not easy to figure out on your own.

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So here are three quick and easy rules for you to learn how to pronounce numbers. Here is a quick guide of three rules on your path to better pronunciation of numbers:


When you say numbers between 13 to 19 (the teen numbers), put more stress the first syllable.
Say: THIRteen, FORteen, FIFteen, SIXteen.


When counting numbers that are multiples of 10 (like 20, 30, 40, 50, 60…) put more stress on the first part of the word.
Say: TWENty, THIRty, FORty, FIFty, SIXty.

Rules 1 and 2 are used when you are saying numbers on their own or in any context.


When you are talking about a time, an amount, a currency, or a date stress the second part of a teen number.
Say: fourTEEN monitors, eightTEEN computers, the time is ten fifTEEN, it’s the sixTEENth of June.

Learning these rules to emphasize the right syllable at the right time in numbers will save you time learning how to pronounce American English more like a native speaker.

Modifying or reducing your native accent and sounding more like a natural American speaker doesn’t need to feel overwhelming. Our trained coaches are ready to help you navigate the the process is a systematic and functional way. We are trained to help you improve your American English pronunciation in the shortest period of time.

At Better Speech we know you deserve speech therapy that works.

We have experts in your needs and assign the right therapist; not just the therapist that happens to be in your area. If you want to find out more about our services, contact us to schedule a free consultation.