how to pronounce painful


audio example by a male speaker

audio example by a female speaker

the above transcription of painful is a detailed (narrow) transcription according to the rules of the International Phonetic Association; you can find a description of each symbol by clicking the phoneme buttons in the secction below.

painful is pronounced in two syllables

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example pitch curve for pronunciation of painful


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video examples of painful pronunciation

An example use of painful in a speech by a native speaker of american english:

“… what is obviously a painful uh situation …”

meanings of painful


  1. Painstaking; careful; industrious.
  2. Requiring effort or labor; difficult, laborious.
  3. Causing pain or distress, either physical or mental.
  4. Very bad, poor.
  5. Afflicted or suffering with pain (of a body part or, formerly, of a person).

painful frequency in english - B2 level of CEFR

the word painful occurs in english on average 27.6 times per one million words; this frequency warrants it to be in the study list for B2 level of language mastery according to CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference.

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