Study the YOUR / YOU’RE 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 go over the reduction of YOUR.
Both YOU’RE the contraction and YOUR the pronoun sound great when reduced to ‘yer’ in a sentence. So, we’re keeping the Y consonant sound, but then we’re reducing the vowel sound to the schwa. Since it’s followed by the R, we don’t really need to think of the schwa as being a separate sound. It’s sort of taken over by the R, and it’s just the er, er sound. Just one sound. So, we have yy, er, yy, er, yer, yer. You’ll notice also that the word is very quick. It’s going to be lower in pitch and flatter than other words in the sentence. This is what happens to reduced words: yer, yer, yer. To make the Y sound, the tongue tip is here, and the front part of the tongue is touching the roof of the mouth here, yy, yy, pressing there. To make the R, the tongue will also touch the roof of the mouth, but it’s further back. So, rather than the front part of the tongue reaching here, it’s the middle part of the tongue that will reach here. The front part of the tongue won’t be touching anything for the R. Yer, yer. Notice also, we don’t need much jaw drop for either of these sounds: yer, yer.
Let’s go over some examples.
What’s your name? Yer, yer yer. Your name, your name. What’s your name?
It’s for your project. Yer, yer, your project. It’s for your project.
Can I borrow your car? Yer, yer, your car, your car. Can I borrow your car?
You’re doing great. Yer, yer, you’re doing, you’re doing great.
You’re in the lead. Yer, yer, you’re in the, you’re in the, you’re in the lead.
It’s too bad you’re not feeling well. Yer, yer, you’re not, you’re not. It’s too bad you’re not feeling well.
Using this reduction in your speech, yer, yer, your speech, will help smooth out your speech and provide some nice rhythmic contrast to the longer, stressed syllables in the sentence.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.