If you can’t give an answer yet, just say you’ll think about it. Learn how to say this phrase comfortably in conversational English: what words or syllables to reduce, how to link everything together, and the melodic shape of the phrase.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to study the pronunciation of the phrase ‘I’ll think about it’.
This is part of a sentence study series where we look at a short common phrase and discuss its pronunciation.
‘I’ll think about it’. What’s the most stressed syllable there? I’ll think about it. It’s ‘Think’. da-DA-da-da-da. I’ll think about it.
Make sure it’s longer than your other syllables. Also, make sure every syllable connects. I’ll think about it. UH. It’s four different words, but there’s no punctuation separating them, so we want them to link together smoothly. I’ll think about it.
First, we start with the contraction I’ll. In casual conversation, this will probably be reduced to UHl, uhl. Sounding a lot like “all”. I’ll think about it.
Actually, when I say it quickly in that sentence, I’ll think about it. I’ll think about it. I’m really just making one sound, and it’s the dark sound of the dark L. L, l, l (make it). My tongue tip is here, touching the back of the bottom front teeth, and the back part is pulling back a little bit. L, l, l. That’s the dark sound. I’ll think, I’ll think.
So I’m not bringing my tongue tip up into the position of the L, I’m just making the dark sound. I’ll think, I’ll think. I’ll think about it. Then I have the stressed word, think. It begins with an unvoiced TH a tough sound, but you do have to make it. So your tongue and jaw will come up enough so your tongue tip can be lightly touching both the bottom and top teeth. The tip will come out just a little bit. And you’ll see it. The tip doesn’t actually have to move much to get into that position, I’ll TH… just has to lift a little bit.
Next we have the IH as in SIT vowel followed by the NG consonant. I tend to make the IH more of an EE sound when it’s followed by the NG consonant. Think, E, E, E, E. It’s sort of a mix between EE and IH. My tongue tip does go back down, from the ‘TH’ so it’s here again touching at the back of the bottom front teeth. But the front part of the tongue stays pretty close to the roof of the mouth. I’ll TH, IH, ih, ih, ih, ih, ih. Then the middle-back part of the tongue goes to the soft palate, which is lowered to make the NG. I’ll thi, NG, ng, touching about here. It’s now in position for the K sound. The only change that happens is that your soft palate raises, it closes. I’ll think. This is probably something that will happen on its own the movement of the soft palate and you don’t need to worry about it. To feel that, make an NG sound, and then get ready to make the K, but don’t release it. NG, ng. Did you feel anything move or tighten in your throat? That’s the soft palate.
Next we lightly release the K, NGk. But we want to do it right into the next word, which begins with a vowel, to connect. So we don’t want: I’ll think… about it, I’ll think… about it, with a separate release, but rather I’ll think about it, I’ll think, K, k, releasing the K right into the next sound. In this case it’s the schwa. So for the schwa we want no jaw drop, we going to make it as quickly as possible. Think about, think about, very short. I’ll think about. Now the lips come together for the B. I’ll think ab-, b, b, I’ll think about. And we have the OW as in NOW diphthong. It’s not stressed, so we don’t need too much jaw drop. I’ll think about, -bout, -bout. The lips will probably round a little, but not too much because again it’s unstressed and we want to move on to the next sound as quickly as possible.
The next sound is the Flap T, so the tongue will just bounce against the roof of the mouth without stopping the flow of air. This will help us link to the next word, ‘it’. You don’t need to think about making the IH really, it will happen quickly when you bring your tongue down from the Flap. You actually want to just think about bringing it right back up for the T in ‘it’. Think about it, think about it. Think -about it. I’ll think about it. Do you notice that I don’t release the T in it, it, it? I just cut off the airflow in my throat to make that Stop. Think about it, think about it. It makes the word ‘it’ abrupt: -it, -it. About it. I’ll think about it.
And now let’s look at the phrase up close and in slow motion.
This video is part of a series. Click here to see other videos just like it.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.