bear, beard, beer, bird

How to Pronounce Bear, Beard, Beer and Bird

Welcome to another edition of English Makes No Sense, the podcast where we have fun with the English language, one lesson at a time. My name is SL Rockfish and today we are going to do a pronunciation episode. A pronunciation episode, how exactly is that going to work Sarah? Great question! Here is how it is going to work.

Segment 1

Today’s episode is going to spotlight a few of the most often requested words. I get more requests for how to pronounce these words on a regular basis in texts or requests when I go LIVE on TikTok. What are the words? I’m getting to them, just a minute. The words we will be working with this episode are bear, beard, beer, and bird.

Yes, these are some of the most often requested words. Let’s take a look at them more in depth. Let’s start with bear and beard. One involves a furry creature and the other, well facial hair. The word bear, b-e-a-r. Bear the noun is a large furry mammal. But bear can also be a verb. What!? Yes, a verb. Bear, or to bear means to carry.

Let’s look at ‘bear’ the animal. Let’s use it in a sentence. “The bear walked in the forest.”

Bear the verb, to carry can be used like this: “Bill bears a lot of responsibility in his family.” Bill carries a lot of responsibilities. Poor Bill.

Next up we have beard. Beard, b-e-a-r-d, is a noun and it means facial hair. You know the hair that grows on a man’s face and down his chin. A beard. Here is a sentence, “Bill wants to grow a long beard for the winter.”

Why are bear and beard mentioned together? Because bear makes a long A sound and b-e-a-r-d, makes the long E sound, just by adding a “d” to bear. Why? I Don’t know!

Segment 2

Our next pair of pronunciation problems is Beer vs bird. Now you would think bird would go with beard because many people pronounce them the same way, but no, no my friends, we are gong to work with bird and beer. Beer, spelled b-e-e-r and bird, b-i-r-d.

First let’s look a beer. Easy word, it is spelled like it sounds, b-e-e-r. You know, cerveza in espanol. I believe the reason people confuse this word so much is because, bear, b-e-a-r, looks like it should be pronounced the same as beer. You know because the word ear is in bear, and that is pronounced with a long e, however when you add a ‘b’ to ear it is pronounced, bear! Oh my goodness, English. See the confusion?

But, let me get back to beer and put it in a sentence. I went out for a beer, with my friends after work.

Or, are you a beer person or a wine person?

Now comes ‘bird’, B-i-r-d. Bird is in the pronunciation problem section in English because amongst Spanish speakers it is often mispronounced to sound like beard, b-e-a-r-d. See or rather hear the problem? You know bird, the winged creature that flies through the air!

Let me put ‘bird’ in a sentence: “Look at all the birds flying through the trees.”

Now we can put the words together in a sentence, “Let’s share a beer as we watch the birds fly.”

Segment 3

Let’s review these words friends. First up is bear. Bear is spelled b-e-a-r. Bear is both a verb and a noun. Bear the verb means to carry, bear the noun is a big furry animal.

After bear we have beard. Beard is spelled just like bear but with a ‘d’ added to the end. When you add the ‘d’ it makes the b-e-a-r change pronunciation from bear with a long A to beard with a long e. Crazy isn’t it.

Next we have beer, which is actually pronounced as it’s spelled and makes total sense. However the same can’t be said for ‘bird’. Well, actually it can be said, because the ‘ir” combination makes the er sound. The trick is the ‘ir’ in Spanish makes that “ear’ pronunciation. See the problem?


Bear, beard, beer and bird. Four of the most often requested words here at English Makes No Sense. Can we put them all together

I cannot bear to see a bear

Or a bird,

Drinking a beer

But wouldn’t it be weird

To see a bird or a bear

Drinking beer while

Wearing a beard?

SO, there you have it my friends, hopefully a helpful lesson in how to pronounce, bear, beard, beer and bird. Try to practice these words with friends, family or even in the mirror. The more you do the easier it gets. Let me know what you think of this pronunciation episode.

If you would like more English Makes No Sense, check out my YouTube Channel, English Makes No Sense, or @englishmakesnonsense on TikTok and Instagram.

Remember friends, do something fun, do something amazing, or you know, do nothing at all.

But, whatever you do, have a great day! Peace friends!