noviembre 2019
« Sep    

Connected Speech


•→ would – contractions ⇐

◊   How to understand native speakers’ questions  ⇓


There are hundreds on the Net, but you’ll have enough with these for quite a while. Here’s some good ones for Spaniards:

«Six Spanish students study at a small school in snowy Scotland»
«World Wide Web … World Wide Web …»
«She said she should sit…»
«Six Czech cricket critics»
«I wish you were a fish in my dish…»

Linking up 
⇓  Five lessons by Rachel!

Today I simply want to introduce the concept of linking. I’ve had my blog for almost two years now, and have yet to explicitly mention this in a video as a topic. It’s high time. If everything else is pronounced correctly: stress, the particular sounds of a word, but words are not linked together, it will still sound pretty strange to native speakers. It will sound very choppy.

Let’s take for example the sentence, He told her to go to the park todayHe told her to go to the park today. He told her to go to the park today. That last time I said it, I tried to put a tiny pause between each word. He told her to go to the park today. He told her to go to the park today. Can you tell the difference? It’s an important first step to be able to hear the difference. To native speakers, this tiny gap between each word sounds very choppy. He told her to go to the park todayTo me that is very smooth. Can you hear that difference?

My students sometimes tell me that when they pronounce words and sentences that way, that it feels very sloppy. We’ll that’s ok. If your native language is really different from English, then when you pronounce English correctly, it might feel very strange in your mouth. Don’t be shy about that. Linking is related to reduction, or reducing sounds. What is reduction? As you may already know from other videos, words in English will either be stressed or unstressed. Unstressed words and syllables may be reduced. This means that a sound is either left out or changes.

For example, the word ‘can’ has the ‘aa’ vowel [æ] sound. But, it might reduce. I can be there. Cn, cn. There the word ‘can’ is actually pronounced with the schwa [ə] sound: cn. So that is what I mean by reduction. I say that linking and reduction are related. And that is because if you are reducing something, you’re either leaving off a sound or substituting a quicker vowel in order to make that word very short. If you’re making it very short, you don’t want to make your phrase longer by adding gaps. So linking is the idea that you will take all the words of a sentence and you won’t put any gaps between for a smooth and fluid sound.

For example, in the sentence I can be there by three. I-c, I-c: you can hear how the kk sound of the second word is attached to the first word: I-c, I-c. There is no break between those words. I can be there by three. So keep this in mind as you listen to native speakers and do your best to imitate it. There will be videos in the future that will cover specific concepts in linking and reduction to help you practice this.

That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel‘s English.


⇓  Linking —  Consonant + Vowel

The title of today’s video is ‘wuh tsup.’ What’s up?

This video is about linking:  the specific case where you take a word that begins with a vowel or a diphthong and you link it to the word before that ends in a consonant sound. Wuh tsup. I’m sure you are noticing that I’m putting the TS sound, the final consonant sounds of the first word, and I’m attaching it to the second word. Tsup, tsup.

Let’s look at this example, which has two cases where the consonant will link to the next word that begins with a vowel or diphthong. First, hours. It’s spelled with an H, but the first sound is the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong. So, if we’re going to take the consonant sound and put it at the beginning of that word, we’re going to be saying ‘nowers’: nowers, nowers. It’s like we’re making a new word. Teh – notersThe next case, a, is going to be the schwa sound. And we’re actually going to take the Z sound from the word before: zuh, zuh, zuh. Teh – nower – zuh – day. Ten hours a day.

consonant+vowelSo taking the consonant from the end of one word and putting on the next word that begins with a vowel or diphthong, will make your speech sound much more connected, and much better linked. The T here in ‘what’ comes between two vowel sounds, so we’re going to pronounce it like a D. That’s wuh – dai – thought. Dai — connecting it to the word ‘I’. Wuh – dai. Now let’s reconnect those: what I, what I, what I, but still think of the D as beginning dai, dai. That’s what I thought.

This sentence has two words that begin with vowels, and the words before end in consonants, so we’ll be linking. Again, the T is going to be pronounced as a D because it is between two vowel sounds. Wuh – dih – zit. Wuh – dih – zit. What is it, what is it?

In this sentence, we’re going to take the Z sound and put it at the beginning of the word anniversary. Zanniversary. It’s hih – zanniversary. It’s his anniversary.

thinkaboutitAnd here, I – mon – the train. I – mon, I’m on, I’m on. I’m on the train.

Here, we’ll take the S sound and put it at the beginning of the word ‘is’. Thih – siz – too much. Thih – siz, thih – siz, this is. This is too much.

Here, again remember, those T’s between vowel sounds will be pronounced as D’s. Forgeh – dabou – dit. Forget about it.

That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel‘s English. 

⇓  Ordering & Asking 

ORDERING … «I’d like … »  /  «I’ll have … »  /  «Could/May I please have …?»

ASKING  . . .  «Could I borrow…?»  /  «Can I have that when you’re done?»

∞  Linking: consonant + consonant
∞  Weak forms in connected speech  ⇓  [Beta College of English]

Look at the examples below. The first lines in each pair contain «weak forms» whereas the same words in the second lines are «strong«

– ‘What’s his name?’   –  ‘Is it his?’

– ‘I’ll see you at lunchtime.’   –  ‘What are you looking at?’

– ‘Thanks for asking.’   –   ‘What’s that for?’

– ‘She comes from Ireland.’   –  ‘Where does she come from?’

– ‘Have some more tea.’   –  ‘I’ve got some.’

– ‘Does she smoke?’   –   ‘I think she does.’

⇓ How to combine words for smoother sentences when speaking English

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