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How to pronounce the word "actually"?

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Hello everyone! I'm a beginner in English from China mainland. Last night I found out there was an argue at a forum about the pronunciation of the word "actually". It could be ['æktʃuəli], ['ækʃuəli] or ['ækʒuəli], which confused me so much. So that's the reason I come and ask for some help. Whatever, which one is right? How do you pronounce it? Thanks in advance.


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It depends on who you ask! Which country's pronunciation do you wish to emulate? In any event, welcome to the forum, and by the way you're too modest--your English is already quite good. PS I didn't mean to be dismissive--I can't make much sense of the system of phonetic transcription you're using as my "smartphone" doesn't support some of its symbol set.

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Welcome to the forums!


As said above, it really depends on what accent you're trying to emulate, but generally it seems to be pronounced "act-chully". There are some exceptions (in accents) where you'll want to enunciate, but you can basically say it however you want. 

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From a speaker of British English (specifically, London-influenced RP-leaning Estuary English):


['æktʃuəli] is the most common, although in modern British English /æ/ leans towards [a], which is closer to Pinyin "a". 

['ækʃuəli] is uncommon, and sounds foreign.

['ækʒuəli] seems unacceptable to me. Understandable, but erroneous. 这样发音不是有点怪吗?


In practice, I render it [ˈak̚t͡ʃʰəli] (SAMPA: ["ak_}[email protected]]) in fast speech and as [ˈakʰt͡ʃʰʷəliː] (SAMPA: ["[email protected]:]) in careful speech. 


See http://www.forvo.com/word/actually for examples.

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This website seems good. It shows the difference between American and British pronunciation. Its very accurate in my view


Also the grammar section shows common usage of the word. The section on "Actual and actually: typical errors" gives examples of the words being used incorrectly. These are common mistakes used by native English speakers.

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