Consonant Sound / ŋ / (NG) as in “thing”- American English Pronunciation


Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video we’re going to talk about the American consonant sound /ŋ/, as in the word “thing.” You can also hear this sound in words like “sing,” “long,” “bank” or “uncle.” We’ll be using a special phonetic symbol – /ŋ/ – for this sound. Many non-native English speakers don’t realize they have difficulty with the /ŋ/ sound. However, this sound is often distorted, which noticeably affects their American pronunciation. The good news is that once you know how the /ŋ/ sound is spelled and how to pronounce it correctly, you will sound more like an American. Let’s start with learning how to recognize the /ŋ/ in written words. 1.The /ŋ/ is most commonly represented by the combination of letters ‘-ng’ at the end of words. So, when you see a word that ends with the ‘ng’ combination, you should always pronounce the sound /ŋ/. For example: As you may have already noticed, the final ‘g’ is not pronounced, as it belongs to the /ŋ/ sound. 2. Sometimes you may find the combination ‘ng’ in the middle of a word. For example: Now take a look: In these words the letter ‘n’ is still pronounced as /ŋ/, but you should also pronounce the letter ‘g’ as it’s part of the next syllable. 3. And finally there’s one last case. Listen to these words: The letter ‘n’ is pronounced as /ŋ/ as it occurs before the letter ‘k’ or the letter ‘c.’ If it still feels complicated, here’s a quick summary: If you see a word that ends with ‘ng,’ you have the /ŋ/ sound If you see the letter ‘n’ before the letters ‘g,’ ‘k’ or ‘c,’ pronounce the ‘n’ as /ŋ/. And now, let’s find out how to make the /ŋ/ sound. To make the /ŋ/ sound correctly, it’s important to pass the air through your nose. Let’s take a closer look at how to do that: Pull the back of your tongue toward your throat. Next stop the air in your mouth with the back of your tongue and direct it into your nose. If you make this sound correctly, you should be able to stretch out this sound, like this: /ŋ-ŋ-ŋ-ŋ-ŋ/ Now, let’s try saying it: /ŋ/ /ŋ/ /ŋ/ Here are a few typical mistakes people make when pronouncing the /ŋ/ sound: (Number one). The most common mistake is when people pronounce the /ŋ/ as the /n/ and /g/ sounds. As a result, the /ŋ/ is distorted and sounds like /ng/. Remember, even though the /ŋ/ is represented by the two letters ‘ng’, it’s still a single sound. The letter ‘g’ is never pronounced in the ‘ng’ combination at the end of words. Listen: “sing” but not /sing/ or /siŋg/ (Number two). This is similar to the previous problem when the /ŋ/ is pronounced as two sounds. Some people don’t pronounce the final ‘g’
when making the /ŋ/, and that’s great, except for the fact that they pronounce the voiceless sound /k/ instead. As a result, the /ŋ/ sounds more like /nk/. This way the word “sing” will sound more like “sink.” Which, by the way, is a totally different word. Compare: “sing” – “sink.” (Number three) Finally, some people distort the /ŋ/ by placing the tip of the tongue to the alveolar ridge or against the back of their upper front teeth. As a result, the /ŋ/ sounds more like the /n/ sound. Listen and compare: “sing” – “sin” That’s an absolutely different word again! To make the /ŋ/ sound correctly, you should pull the back of your tongue toward your throat: “sing.” Now, let’s practice the /ŋ/ sound in some words. You’ll see a word on the screen and hear its pronunciation. Like this. You’ll have a few seconds to pronounce the word. Repeat each word after the speaker. This is the most important part of the exercise. Let’s begin! Let’s pause here for a second and check on how you are making the /ŋ/ sound. The back of your tongue should be pulled toward your throat and the air should be directed into your nose. Let’s continue practicing. You’re done! Congratulations! By the way, while watching this video, did you think of any words with the /ŋ/ sound that you pronounced incorrectly? If yes, let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for more videos!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

35 thoughts on “Consonant Sound / ŋ / (NG) as in “thing”- American English Pronunciation”

  1. Pedro Guevara says:

    11:36 did you think of any words with the /ŋ/ sound well two souds… manganese /ˈmæŋ.ɡə.niːz/…tungsten /ˈtʌŋ.stən/

  2. Florence Akins says:

    I’ve been calling bank wrong.

  3. Bibinihad Mariyum Hyder says:

    Length and language

  4. Tulio Pimentel says:

    I was pronouncing words with the 'g' in 'ng' sounds but now I know but I have a doubt, what will happen when we are hearing a song or something?

  5. Cristian Martinez says:

    do you have a video with these sounds : gz and ks

  6. Cosmic Disco says:

    So is this sound like a "reversed N sound"?

    Is it a tense or relaxed sound btw?

  7. charlie Bee says:


  8. Dragon Bridge says:

    Well done I like so much

  9. Clemente Padilla says:

    Thank you so much. This is a perfect channel. Please make a video of the dark L.

  10. Cosmic Disco says:

    This sound kinda resembles the sound that people make when they're in a great deal a pain, e.g. if somebody's having a toothache or a heartache, and it becomes worse suddenly.

  11. Tim Nhim says:

    omg, this helps alot, I wish there is an app I can download, thanks so much

  12. Darkness says:

    Thank you! You helped me out a lot. I think that a lot of native speakers are speaking English the way they see it. Many Americans are taught the alphabets and vowels as a child to only come to the realization that the pronunciation of the English language varies differently with the letters we learned. So, "ing" is pronounced by the back of the tongue blocking off the air flow, pronounced through the nose, through the mouth and redirecting it to the nose, but also different from the "N" tongue placement at the front of the mouth and also from the "G" voiced and "K" unvoiced at the back of the mouth. G is on "ing" is not pronounced.

  13. Clemente Padilla says:

    Thank you for the great video!!! I tought this sound was use only at the end of words.

  14. long nguyen says:

    I am from Viet Nam thank you very much.

  15. Fernelly Jor says:

    Hi… I have been studying a lot of the videos… And I want to be in touch with you.. Could you please provide me an e-mail.. I need to tell you something important please… Blessings

  16. Franklin Ruan says:

    I can't hear the difference !

  17. Khayke Vicente says:

    I think hard pronounce this ng .

  18. Talita . T says:

    Oaw 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😍

  19. BERK SEZER says:

    So, when saying the word "singing"; do I pronounce it as "sɪŋɪŋ"?

  20. Simon Jones says:

    American English ???? No its English full stop ,

  21. Rogue849 says:

    This is a tricky one!

  22. Vô Danh says:

    Thank you! <3

  23. angel Zee says:

    The word singular is the exception of the rule?

  24. 谢国明 says:

    I am confused. My teacher tell me that the position of the tongue is as same as the /t/'s. The tip of the tongue is behind the front teeth. It is different from what you said.

  25. Jarurote Tippayachai says:

    Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese also support this “ng” sound like “mang-nga” (Japanese comic), while it seems no English vocabulary which contains “NG” sound in the first two letters.

    However, I just see some words like “Google Ngram Viewers”.

  26. DAWN PRESENTER says:

    yes i cant be able to pronounce this word length

  27. Geometry Dash Iuppiter says:

    Some Americans pronounce the/ ɪŋ/ sound as /iŋ/. How often does this phenomenom occur?
    And which way do you think I should pronounce it? Consider that I have the cot-caught merger and the /æ/ raising before /m/, /n/ and /ŋ/.

  28. 黒犬 says:

    I would still pronounce ng very lightly because some words the meaning might change. easy example “kin” and “king”.

  29. ĐÀO TẤN SANG says:

    Let me ask what is your pronunciation app, Thank's

  30. Anthony Gonzalez says:

    I want to practice with this app. What is your name?

  31. Padmini Pooladi says:

    Absolutely wonderful

  32. Nyinana JULU says:

    I saw a word with nk, was that a mistake?

  33. maria vega says:

    Thanks a lot for making this channel! It's changing my life because I am learning all the sounds and I didn't even know that they existed! Pronunciation is key to me because I work as an instructional aide ! Thanks a lot! I love this channel! God bless you all!

  34. jie li says:

    learning is really difficult for me

  35. Essam Zaky says:


  36. Crazy_Fan says:

    Russians pronounce think, sing and sink as a same /sink/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *