How do you pronounce the word "only" ?

@LittleMel (14059)
Canada
May 25, 2007 11:31pm CST
My husband sometimes pronounces it as "on-lay" and I "on-lee" I heard some singers pronounce this word like my husband does, but I don't know if they do this only when they sing or it's just how they do it. Some people here pronounce it somewhere between "onlay" and "on-lee" I just don't know how to describe it to you :) What about you? How do you pronounce it and which one do you hear most often?
3 people like this
7 responses
@dixielol (1581)
• United States
26 May 07
Yeap, I say own-lee. But I have heard it pronouced other ways. Were is your hubby from? That may have something to do with. Kind of like a southern draw? (I got one, but not to bad:)
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
26 May 07
he is English, but he's been here for many years. I don't know if he has Irish blood, but does that make a difference? It's the same language
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@dixielol (1581)
• United States
27 May 07
I mean, okay like in the USA people that are from the North have a completly differant accent then those that are from the southern part. I see in your profile that you are from Canada. Maybe some proviences have an accent and some dont. It could have something to do with were he was raised. Or it could just be that his parents said it that way. See I am from the USA but kind of the south eastern part. Instead of saying "Turn the lights on" (not sure how to spell it so it sounds like how we say it, if that made any sence at all.) We say "turn the lites own." I had a friend who pronouced it "Awwen". Because she was from the northern part. I know, that probably dont make any sence at all. Im tired though:) Any how, maybe your huspband has a accent because of were ever he was raised.
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
27 May 07
I see what you mean. I don't pay attention until a few days ago because my husband was talking with someone and this person didn't get what he was saying. It reminds me that some people didn't get what I said sometimes, but at first I think it's weird because he is native speaker like them. So even native speakers have accents :)
@VotreAmie (3037)
• United States
27 May 07
Hi LittleMel. You got me ask my husband about how he pronounces only. I never pay attention on how he pronounces words and my English pronounciation is horrible. He is Californian and he pronounces it this way: OWNLEY. Me on the other hand I pronounce it onlee... Iwill have to correct that heh? Thank you for starting this discussion. At least from now on I am going to pronounce it the correct way. And he also told me it like the word lonely... He pronounce it like: LOWNLEE.
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• United States
27 May 07
no votreamie, as i said to lilmel, DO NOT CHANGE...don't worry about what people are saying on here, like saying it this way or that way is right or wrong...everyone is different, embrace that! you are you, and you are where you are from...no one can change that.
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
27 May 07
I think this is why some pople don't get it when I pronounced that word the way I used to. I guess my accent gets in the way. But I agree with frecklelip, it's fun to a certain degree. You must be French, so you have a sexy accent hehe
@VotreAmie (3037)
• United States
28 May 07
Hi frecklelip334 and thanks for the comment. I agree with you that littlemel doesn't have to change her accent. I was just talking about myself because I just found out that I pronounce it wrong. But I sure like to pronounce words close to the correct pronunciation so that people can understand me more. I don't like when I have to repeat myself... I don't worry about my accent even though I think it is horrible. But it's too late for us. When you learn a new language at a certain age you can never learn the accent. But kids that are 5 years and younger can pick up to 5 new languages and they actually can learn the exact accent they hear! Amazing heh? Take care frecklelip334 and good luck littleMel!
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@AmbiePam (46235)
• United States
26 May 07
I promounce it 'own-lee' amd honestly, that is the only way I've ever heard it pronounced.
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
26 May 07
Over here I've heard it pronounced own-lee and own-lay. I pronounce this on-lee but after reading the first response I think I should pronounce it own-lee
2 people like this
• United States
27 May 07
you need to pronounce it the way you CAN pronounce it...as long as the person you're talking with understands your meaning, it doesn't matter. everyone has different accents...don't you change girl! accents are fun! don't try to change for others!
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
27 May 07
OK I got you :)
• United States
26 May 07
i pronouce it as like, own-lee...not as on, like sit ON that chair, but OWN, like i OWN that chair...OWN-LEEE...if that makes sense how i'm trying to write out how i pronouce something!! it's amazing how one word can be said differntly! but a lot of words are like that!
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
26 May 07
by the way, I made a mistake :) my husband pronounces it like "own-lay" not "on-lay" see I missed this even though I live with him ! I just realized this when reading your response :) Thanks for the info ! I learn something new today :)
2 people like this
• United States
27 May 07
all i have to say, after reading everyone's responses, it's as if you have to defend yourself on this. DON'T feel like you have to defend yourself. there are people from all over the world on here, AND everyone says things differently. you simply asked 'how do YOU pronouce this word', and many people are saying there is only one way to pronounce it...maybe they don't realize where you're from, and that english isn't your first language. you're doing the right thing. this is a great topic! keep them coming!!
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
27 May 07
thanks frecklelip! some people do understand what I'm saying, some I have to repeat myself :) you're right accent is fun
@alpine_007 (1476)
• Pakistan
26 May 07
i pronounce the word "only" as own-lee, and sometimes when i am in a hurry i also pronounce it as on-lee. i think that on-lay is totally wrong pronounciation of the word "only".
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
26 May 07
I don't know for sure if it's wrong but now that you said it, thanks for telling me!
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@lols189 (4798)
9 Aug 07
i pronounce it as "only". i have heard most people pronounce it like i do
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
10 Aug 07
so more like how I do it I guess
@socorban (651)
• United States
26 May 07
only--- "own-lee" is the correct pronunciation of the word and is how i pronounce it. Around here i only here it pronounced that way, which is the correct way. There are many words that fall into mispronunciation like tomato and potato are prime examples. pizza as well. i pronounce that "pitsa" while many around my area pronounce it as "pissa". Depends on where you grow up and what your used to hearing i guess.
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
26 May 07
actually yes my hubby pronounces it "own-lay" I just can't tell difference between "on" and "own" when he talks. English is not my mother language so there are always things I need to learn everyday about this language, especially now I live here. Between tomato and potato, if someone doesn't understand what I said, I'll just point at them :) Pizza is pronounced pissa? I never heard that before :) the z is replaced by s?
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