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I hope you entertain questions on pronunciation.

When we say 'the UK', do we place the stress on the U or on the K?

In other words, is it pronounced as U-k (with the U being said a little higher/louder then the K and the voice dipping/falling when the k is pronounced) or u-K (with the K being the dominant letter and having a sort of a rising tone)?

I have always said it as the u-KAY , but I was listening to a British speaker today and she said that she is from Oxford in 'the U-kay'.

Please tell me that I haven't been wrong all my life...

Thank you for your help.

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Hi, Gilbert—You have been pronouncing "UK" correctly: it is u-KAY, notU-kay, as the following dictionaries confirm in their pronunciation guides. Look and listen for the position of the accent; it is on "KAY."

It's hard to know why the British speaker you were listening to put the accent on the first letter. Perhaps some British speakers are comfortable with the accent in either position. Compare: RE-search vs. re-SEARCH (both OK).

Last edited by David, Moderator

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