English Pronunciation – Linking: Vowel to Vowel

It’s important in American English to link words together so one word flows into the next.  When a word ends in a vowel or diphthong and the next word begins in one, that is a great opportunity to slide the two words together.

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Video Text:

Today I’m going to do another video on linking. And today specifically, we’ll talk about linking two words when one ends in a vowel sound and the next one begins in a vowel sound — vowel or diphthong sound. In this case, there should be consonant sound when you are linking; there should be no break between the words. Let’s take for example the sentence, Did you exercise? Ooo–eh, oo-eh. You–eh, you exercise. Some of my students put a tiny break between each word. And if you say oo eh with a tiny break, no matter now small that break is, it’s still not linked. Ooeh, ooeh, constant sound.

Now, I’ll note that there are two consonant sounds, the W and the Y, that are glide consonants. And you may find that you feel like you’re making one of these sometimes when you link. That’s ok. You-eh. The ‘oo’ as in ‘boo’ is very related to the W consonant sound. So if you feel like you’re making that W consonant sound, don’t worry about it. Think about the constant sound, uh, of your vocal cords underneath the vowel sounds that you’re making. Oo-eh, oo-eh.

For some of you this will be no problem because your native language also links. For some of you however, though it’s a simple concept, it will take a while to get comfortable with that, to break the habit of putting tiny breaks between words. So, let’s look at some further examples. In this sentence, the word yellow ends with the ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong, and the word apple with the AA vowel. Oh, aa. Oh-aa, oh-aa, no break in sound. Oh-aa. And now quicker: oh-aa, oh-aa. I’d like the yellow apple.

The ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong linking with the AA. Aiaa, aiaa, aiaa. I actually did. This next sentence in the title of a standard that I happened to have in my head while I was brainstorming this blog. We have the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel linking to the ‘ih’ as in ‘sit’ vowel. Ee-ih, ee-ih, ee-ih. Don’t fence me in. Here we have the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ linking to the schwa sound. Ee-uh, ee-uh. She wants to be alone. And here the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong linking to the schwa. Ow-uh, ow-uh, ow-uh. How about tomorrow?

The EE vowel linking to the AA vowel. Ee, aa, ee-aa, ee-aa, ee-aa. I like Woody Allen movies. The ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel linking to the ‘ah’ as in ‘father’ vowel. Ee, ah, ee-ah, ee-ah, ee-ah. I’d be honored. This last sentence has two examples. The ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong linking to the ‘aw’ as in ‘law’ vowel. Ai-aw, ai-aw, ai-aw. I almost. The ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel linking to the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong. Ee, ai, ee-ai, ee-ai, ee-ai. The ice. I almost fell on the ice.That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.