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You’re learning English and one of your goals is to speak with an American accent. But which one? If you travel in the US, you'll realize not every American speaks the same way.

They may ask you if you hear an accent in their speech; this is because they may think that they don’t speak with a different American accent at all.

When we think of the American accent, the first thing that comes to our mind is usually called “General/Standard American English”, the one we hear from American TV announcers and actors.

Yet in fact, there are lots of American accents and dialects depending on region, so you may be surprised when you hear the same words with different pronunciations in these accents.

So, what exactly is a dialect? It’s simply a different usage of the same language in terms of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.

There are many different cultures in the USA, and this is reflected in the way people speak as well. Let’s start!

Different American Accents by Region

Some Americans can tell what part of the country a person is from in the way they pronounce some words. The same vowel in a word can have two or even three pronunciations.

Let’s think about the word “cat”, for example. The a sound is usually pronounced with only one sound in Standard American English, but as we move down into the southern states, the word might be pronounced as “kei-yat”.

1. New England Accent

2. Midwestern Accent

3. Southern Accent

4. Californian Accent

Bottom Line

There are many other accents in American English, and none of them is better than the other. However, it’s very important for non-native English speakers to know how different regions speak English because communication starts with understanding.

Once you have a general knowledge about how Americans actually speak English, you’ll be able to minimize misunderstandings and confusions while having a conversation with the local people. You will also enhance your own understanding of English while you’re studying pronunciation.

One thing you should know is that you don’t need to speak with one of these accents to sound like a native speaker, so don’t let them scare you and lose your motivation. All you need to do is believe in yourself and practice your pronunciation.