Did someone come to your party? Your presentation? Your performance? Thank them: “Thanks for coming!” 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: Thanks for coming. Let’s look at the stress. Da-da-DA-da. Thanks for coming. It’s a four-syllable phrase with stress on the first and third syllables. That means the second and fourth syllables should be really short because they’re unstressed, for, for, for, -ing, -ing, -ing. We begin with the unvoiced TH sound. There’s no way to make this sound without the tongue tip peeking out from between the teeth. Th, th, thanks. Next we have what would be written in IPA as the AA as in BAT vowel. But when that vowel is followed by the NG consonant, as it is here, it’s really more like the AY as in SAY diphthong. It’s certainly not ‘th-aa-nks’, with a pure AA vowel. Drop your jaw for the sound, but you don’t need to pull the upper lip up like you might for the AA vowel. Then your jaw comes back up, and the back part of the tongue reaches up and touches the soft palate to make the NG consonant sound. Th-a-nks, -nn, -nn. Th-a-nks, Thanks. It’s in the position it needs to be in for the K, so release the tongue for that sound, kk, kk, and as you do, bring your teeth together. Your tongue tip should already be where it needs to be, pressing against the back of the bottom front teeth, ks, ks.
Now we have ‘for.’ To transition from the S to the F, ss-ff, ss-ff, ss-ff, all you have to do is lift the bottom lip, so that the inside of it is touching the bottom of the top front teeth, ss-ff. Thanks for, thanks for. Notice I’m reducing ‘for.’ It has the schwa R sound right after the F sound, for, for, for. So my lip is relaxing down from the position of the F, for, for, and my tongue is pulling back for the R, for, for. Thanks for. Thanks for. Thanks for coming.
Another stressed syllable, beginning with the K consonant sound. The front part of the tongue will move forward again, rr-kk and the back part of the tongue will stretch up to the soft palate for the K sound, rr-kk. So, for the R, the tongue was shorter and fatter, and for the K, the tongue stretches out. For-kk, for-kk. Coming. The UH as in BUTTER vowel. We need some jaw drop, and a neutral and relaxed position for the tongue and lips, co-, co-, com-. Then the lips come together for the M, com-ing. Finally the -ing ending. As the lips part, the back part of the tongue stretches up in the back to make the NG consonant. Jaw will drop just a little bit for the IH as in SIT vowel, -ming, -ming, -ming. Coming. Thanks for coming. Let’s watch one more time in slow motion. This video is part of a series. Click here to see other videos just like it. If you have a phrase you’d like to suggest for this series, please put it in the comments.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.