Vacation is always the best! Study real English conversation and many interesting points of pronunciation, like the consonant to vowel linking in the phrase ‘made it!’
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In this American English pronunciation video, you’re going to come on vacation with me and my family, where we play games, water ski, and go to the beach. We’ll also study some American English pronunciation by taking a look at various reductions, and linking consonant to vowel.
This is my uncle Frank
Uncle Frank brings his boat every year so that we can try skiing.
Did you notice the reductions of the word ‘that’ and ‘can’? These two function words will often reduce. ‘That’ becomes thut, with either a flap or a stop T, depending on the next sound. And ‘can’, when not the main verb in the sentence, becomes kn, kn. So that we can. So that we can. So that we can try skiing. ‘Try’ and ‘skiing’, the two content words in this sentence, are clearly much longer than ‘so that we can’. [3x] These four function words are low in pitch and very fast. Listen again.
So that we can try skiing. [3x]
Sure appreciate that uncle Frank.
>> Well, I’m glad to bring it.
Glad to bring it. Here, Frank reduced the word ‘to’ to the flap T and the schwa sound: de, de, de, glad de, Glad to bring it. Listen again.
>> Well, I’m glad to bring it. [3x] This boat is 17 years old, and I was beginning to wonder earlier in the week if I was going to bring it back again.
Here Frank reduced the phrase ‘going to’ to ‘gonna’. A very common reduction in American English. If I was going to bring it back, gonna, gonna. If I was going to bring it back. Listen again.
>> I was beginning to wonder earlier in the week if I was going to bring it back again, [3x] but it seems like people are still kind of interested in skiing, so.
>> We love it.
Love it. Did you hear how I connected the V sound to the word it? One of the easiest ways to link in American English pronunciation, is the case when one word ends in a consonant and the next word begins with a vowel or diphthong. You can practice the connection between words by putting the ending consonant on the next word: vit, vit, vit, love it, love it, love it. This will help to eliminate gaps between words. In American English, we want to link all the words in one thought group. Listen again.
>> We love it. [3x]
>> We’ll see if it’ll go a couple more years.
>> Yep. I hope it does.
>> So Jace, you going to go skiing today?
>> You going to go skiing today? [3x]
>> Yeah, I am.
>> Have you been before?
>> This is the first year.
>> Are you nervous?
>> Mmm, a little. Yeah.
>> It might take a couple tries, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away.
Right away. Did you notice how I linked the ending T of ‘right’ to the beginning vowel sound of ‘away’. This means that the T comes between two vowels, so it becomes a flap T, or, a D sound. So, ‘right away’ sounds just like ‘ride away’. Listen again.
>> If it doesn’t happen right away. [3x]
>> Ok, ok, ok. Ok.
>> Meg, are you going to try skiing?
Another ‘gonna’. Also notice, I’ve reduced the word ‘are’ to er, er, er. Listen again.
>> Meg, are you going to try skiing? [3x]
>> I don’t think so. I tried it when I was ten, and I was traumatized because I fell, and it hurt.
>> Oh, yeah.
>> So, I think I’m just going to stick to a bystander.
>> Haley, have you skiied before?
>> I’ve done sit skiing before, when I was, like, six.
>> Wait, yeah, what is that?
What is. Just like with ‘right away’, we’re connecting the ending T in ‘what’ to the beginning vowel of the word ‘is’. So the T turns into a flap T, or D sound. What is, what is. Listen again.
>> What is that? [3x]
>> It’s got the skis
>> And there’s a chair in the middle and you just sit.
>> I’ve never even heard of that.
Heard of. Another linking consonant to vowel heard of, heard of. Notice that I am reducing the word ‘of’ to the schwa-V sound: uv, uv, duv, duv, heard of.
>> I’ve never even heard of that. [3x]
>> I haven’t either.
>> I’ve done it.
Done it. Another great example of linking ending consonant to beginning vowel. Done it, done it.
>> I’ve done it. [3x] So, I’m nervous to do this.
>> I think you’ll be just fine.
>> I think so too. I’m ready.
Here, Haley reduced the contraction ‘I’m’, to simply the M consonant. I’m ready. Of course, with that reduction, she linked it to the next word, mmready. Listen again.
>> I’m ready. [3x]
This is my cousin Brooke.
>> Brooke, how are you enjoying your vacation?
>> I’m having a great time on my vacation. It’s a lot of fun.
>> What’s the highlight of your vacation so far?
>> I think the highlight of vacation so far is spending time with you, Rachel.
>> Oh. That’s so sweet.
>> Ani, did you make that necklace?
>> Can you hold it up for me?
Another reduction of ‘can’: kn, can you, can you.
>> Can you hold it up for me? [3x]
>> Yeah. It’s really pretty.
It’s really pretty. A reduction of ‘it’s’ to the TS sound. It’s really, it’s really.
>> It’s really pretty. [3x]
>> Where’d you make that?
>> At the craft shop.
>> The craft shop? Let me see?
Have you ever heard someone say ‘lemme’? I’ve dropped the T in ‘let’, and connected it to ‘me’. Let me, let me, let me see that.
>> Let me see? [3x]
>> What’s it say?
>> Giggle. Giggle.
>> Giggle? Oh, it does say giggle. That’s a hard word. It has those gg sounds, and a dark L. Giggle.
>> Hey Brad.
>> What are you doing? Doing some advertising?
>> We’re doing a little advertising, yeah.
>> Hey, Rach, I love that shirt. Where did you get that?
>> Well, I made it.
Made it. Linking ending consonant to beginning vowel. Made it.
>> Well, I made it. [3x]
>> Oh, now, what is this?
>> It says ‘I love English’ in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
>> Oh my gosh, that’s so great. Where can I get one?
>> Actually, you can get one right here.
>> Yeah, do you want to be on my website, Brad?
Wanna. Here, I use the ‘wanna’ reduction for ‘want to’. Do you wanna.
>> Yeah, do you want to be on my website, Brad? [3x]
Kinda. Here, Brad reduced ‘kind of’ to kinda. So the word ‘of’ is pronounced with just the schwa, no consonant sound. Kinda.
>> Kinda. [3x]
>> Ok! This is my cousin Brad.
>> Brad, B-R-A-D, it has the ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’ vowel. And remember, cousin: spelled with an S, pronounced, zz, like a Z.
Now, it’s game time. Here, we’ll all tell the score keeper if we made our bet or not. Made it. Listen for how we all link those two words together, made it, no gap.
>> K, who made it?
>> I made it.
>> I made it.
>> I made it.
(>> You can cut me out)
>> Made it.
>> Made it.
>> Yes, I also made it.
>> Uncle Dale, did you make that fire?
>> I helped with it, yeah.
>> It’s a nice-looking fire.
>> Well thanks.
>> Hey everybody, this is my uncle Dale. He lives in Texas.
>> Houston, Texas.
I hope that even with just these few snippets of conversation, you’ve learned a bit about linking consonant to vowel and reductions. They’re an important part to the smoothness and the rhythm of American English. And as you can see, they’re used all the time in conversation. Special thanks to my family for letting me video tape our vacation, and if you didn’t get enough, don’t worry. We’re all getting together again at Christmas.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.