how to start a word with "r" in the middle?

Roxanne   Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:33 pm GMT
My name is Roxanne. I came to US 6 years ago, and I speak pretty good english. I have started learning English since I was 4, and most people think that I'm a native speaker until they hear I pronounce one or two words differently then the general Americans.
I have no problem pronouncing words like "really", "horrify" and "learners", but I have trouble pronouncing words such as "tree", "tendrils" and "dry". I don't know what are the differences between those words, but I can't make up my mind where to put my tongue when I start the word "tree". When I say those words by themselves, I curl my tongue to the middle of my mouth and pronounce the "r" fine. However, when the word is in the middle of a sentence, ("I am standing next to a very tall tree") I put my tongue to the front part of my mouth (on top of my front teeth) and curl back using the muscle on the back of my tongue. Therefore instead of curling my tongue from the middle to the front, I am curling it from the front to the back. I have a feeling that I am forcing myself to pronounce the "r" too much, and I can actually just curl just a little bit of my tongue. I have become so self-conscious because of my "r"! Please tell me how do you guys pronounce your "r"!
Karen   Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:25 pm GMT
Try doing this exercise: when you have the r in an uncomfortable position separate it from the letter that is before it. Like with tree. Try pausing in your sentence when you come to the word and then pronounce tuh-ree. It may sound odd at first but as you get used to the emphasis placed on the r, you will get faster. Duh rye for dry. You are just pronouncing the word in slow motion.
Skippy   Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:52 pm GMT
Does it make it easier for you if you say "tree" with a "ch" like cheese? So instead of "tuh-ree" you can work your way up to "chree." Because that's basically how we say it anyway...

And with "dry" it would be with a "j" like in juice. So... Try saying "jry."

Because you make the "t" of tree and "d" dry retroflex, it comes out like "ch" and "j" respectively.