Tagged With: BECAUSE Reduction
Study the BECAUSE reduction. There are many reductions in conversational American English. It’s important to know what they are to improve listening comprehension, but also to use the reductions in speech yourself. They are a key part to sounding natural.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to discuss how to pronounce the word ‘because’ in everyday conversation.The word ‘because’ has a couple of different pronunciations. It can either have the AW vowel or the UH vowel in the second syllable. But let’s start at the beginning. The first syllable is unstressed: be-, be- because. It begins with the B consonant sound, then the ‘ih’ as in ‘sit’ vowel. The second syllable, stressed, which will be higher in pitch and longer than the first, begins with the K consonant sound. Then either the AW or the UH vowel, and finally, the Z sound. Now this is important, it’s written with an S, so some people tend to pronounce it as an ‘S’. But it is a Z sound, so it does need to be voiced: because, zz, zz, zz. It will be a very quick final consonant, but it does have to have the vocal cords engaged.
Because is a conjunction, which makes it a function word. And function words are generally the words that will be unstressed in a sentence. Sometimes unstressed words will be reduced. And the word ‘because’ can reduce to simply ‘cuz, ‘cuz. So the unstressed syllable will get dropped altogether, and the vowel will most likely change to simply the schwa. Cuz, cuz, cuz. In my opinion, it’s not appropriate in written communication to write ‘because’ as ‘cuz’. But in spoken English, it’s certainly acceptable to reduce the word ‘because’ to ‘cuz’ in everyday conversation.
As always, when you reduce a word, make sure that you link it to the words that come around it. So, with the word ‘because’, if we reduce it to ‘cuz’, ‘cuz’, we want to make sure to take that final Z sound and link it up to the next word. Let’s look at some examples.
I missed the train because I overslept. Because I, because I, because I overslept. Or, I missed the train ‘cuz I overslept. cuz_I, cuz_I, ‘cuz I overslept. Why are you leaving? Because I’m tired. Because, because, because I’m tired. Or, ‘cuz I’m tired, cuz_I, cuz_I, ‘cuz I’m tired. I can’t go because my mom’s in town. Because, because, I can’t go because my mom’s in town. Or, I can’t go ‘cuz my mom’s in town, cuz_my, cuz_my, cuz_my, I can’t go ‘cuz my mom’s in town. I made chicken because I know you hate fish. Because I, because I. Or, I made chicken ‘cuz I know you hate fish. Cuz_I, cuz_I. My assignment is late because my computer crashed. Because, because. My assignment is late because my computer crashed. Or, my assignment is late ‘cuz my computer crashed, cuz_my, cuz_my, cuz_my, ‘cuz my computer crashed.
So, don’t be afraid to reduce because to ‘cuz, ‘cuz. Just make sure you link it to the next word. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.
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