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How to Pronounce the L Consonant Sounds

Have trouble pronouncing the two L consonant sounds? I'm here to help make pronouncing these sounds much easier. Follow along with my video guide below.

The L consonant is particularly difficult for English learners from East Asia to pronounce. The video below is of Mika, one of my English students from Japan. We spent a lot of time working on her pronunciation of the L sounds.

She had improved greatly by the time I captured this video! Listen to how well she pronounces the last word elementary which has not only an L sound at the beginning but also an American R sound [ɹ] near the end!

In English pronunciation, there are two L sounds: light L /ɭ / and dark L /ɫ/. Watch my video below to learn how to make the two L sounds.

Light L /ɭ / sound

The light L /ɭ / sound comes before vowels.

To make the sound, the tip of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. You should be able to feel the ridge of your teeth with the tip of your tongue.

Let’s practice saying like. Now let’s try late.

How about practicing the word elementary, just like Mika did in the first video? The L in the first syllable is a light L /ɭ /. You can also practice it with this Google pronunciation guide.

Dark L /ɫ/ sound

The dark L /ɫ/ come after vowels. It's slightly more exagerated than the light L /ɭ / sound.

How about trying the word deal. Now let’s try cool.

Want to practice more English pronunciation? Check out my pronunciation guides or contact me directly for private English lessons. I'll have you sounding like an American English speaker in no time!

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