How do you pronounce “responsible”?

It’s been a while since we last worked on pronunciation, so today I picked another word that is surely in the Top Ten English Words Mispronounced by Brazilians: responsible.

If you’ve been studying English for, say, more than a year, you’ve probably grasped that words which present some similarity to Brazilian words happen to be pronounced in a much more inaccurate way than the words which bear no phonetic resemblance to Portuguese, right?

Well, “responsible” is precisely one of those words – it’s so similar to its Brazilian correspondent (“responsável”) that students simply tend to assume that it will be safer if  they pronounce it the way they do in Portuguese, which, therefore, implies paying no close attention to – guess what? – the vowel sounds and appropriate stress. As we’ve already said, pronounciation errors can be grave enough to confuse your interlocutor.

But fret not! Next time you make use of “responsible”, be sure to stress the second syllable of the word (responsible) and don’t forget that the vowel I should be uttered /i/, never the way Brazilians pronounce the vowel A /ä/. It should be pronounced as follows:


Lastly, remember that responsible usually collocates with the preposition for (to be responsible for something: “Isabella is responsible for the ICAO test in São Paulo’s countryside”). Moreover, you can also mix the use of “responsible” with the expression “to be in charge of”, which has a similar meaning and, once spotted in your speech would definitely state that your vocabulary does have a wider range. Don’t you think?

Best wishes 🙂

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Faz um tempinho que não falamos sobre pronúncia e é por isso que selecionei para hoje mais uma das palavras que certamente está entre As Dez Palavras em Inglês Mais Mal-pronunciadas pelos Brasileiros: responsible.

Se você estuda inglês há, digamos, mais de um ano, já deve ter sacado que as palavras inglesas que mais se parecem com nossas palavras brasileiras acabam sendo pronunciadas com muito mais erros do que as palavras que são totalmente diferentes de palavras do português, não é verdade?

Pois bem, “responsible” é justamente uma destas palavras – é tão parecida com seu termo correspondente em português  (“responsável”)  que os estudantes brasileiros tendem a assumir que será mais garantido pronunciá-la como em português – afinal, é seu terreno conhecido – mas que, por sua vez, faz com que a acentuação e o som das vogais deixem de ser observados. E, como já vimos, errinhos bobos de pronúncia deixam sim muito interlocutor confuso.

Entretanto, não temam! Dá próxima vez que precisar usar a palavra “responsible”, certifique-se de acentuar a segunda sílaba da palavra  (responsible) e não se esqueça de que a vogal I deve ser realizada /i/,  e jamais como nós brasileiros pronunciamos a vogal A    /ä/.  A pronúncia correta é assim, ó:


Por fim, lembrem-se de que responsible frequentemente é acompanhada pela preposição for (to be responsible for something: “Isabella is responsible for the ICAO test in São Paulo’s countryside”). Além disso, você pode alternar o uso de “responsible”  com a expressão “to be in charge of”, que tem significado parecido e, uma vez utilizada em seu discurso, definitivamente revelará que seu vocabulário possui amplitude e variedade. De acordo?

Sucesso 🙂

Related articles:

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How do you pronounce “Aviation”?

Roger, Roger


About Isabella Ferraro

English examiner, teacher and frustrated ballerina. Geek, gauche, obsessed with books, podcasts and the web. Diligent professional and blogger, tho. More info below blog's header.
This entry was posted in Error correction, Grammar, ICAO test, Portuguese, Prepositions, Pronunciation, Second Language, Speaking, Vocabulary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How do you pronounce “responsible”?

  1. Ricardo says:

    Isabella, I would be interested in seeing this list of tope ten most mispronounced words by Brazilians. Could you share it with me?

    • Certainly, Ricardo, but it’s just informal research, that’s why I didn’t quote any sources and always mention it in a tongue-in-cheek way around here, as “my” top ten.

      For general English I’ve collected these as the most cumbersome:

      Whereas for Aviation English my up-to-date top 20, after almost 3 years as an examiner, is:

      Emergency, engine, control, immediately, maintenance, descent, country, nose (often pronounced as noise), heart (often pronounced as hurt), cabin, fuselage, cockpit, crew, injury, depressurization and aviation itself, which in my opinion is unspeakable 🙂

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