Learn American English slang: salty, can’t even. Listen to the podcast on slang: https://rachelsenglish.com/podcast/002-american-english-slang/
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See the whole Summer of Slang series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrqHrGoMJdTROsSGD_NkOae8QSuVur8ZI
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I can’t even. What’s this mean? In today’s Summer of Slang video, we’re going to learn can’t even and salty.
Don’t get salty. I’m going to get into the lesson in one second. But first, I wanted to let you know in case you didn’t know that this summer, I started a new podcast. There’s so much good stuff there about learning English, I’m answering a lot of questions from you so I hope you’ll check it out.
Go to the iTunes store or wherever you get you podcasts and search for Rachel’s English.
Okay, back to the lesson.
I can’t even. Have you ever heard someone say that? It’s one I’ve heard a lot. To be honest, I’m kind of tired of it. It means, I can’t handle that, I can’t deal with it. It’s too much of something. For example, during the election season in the US, there was so much political information being shared on Facebook, so many political ads. It was overwhelming. I think more than once I heard someone say “I can’t even”. Or, if someone shares an article of something particularly horrible on Facebook, like starving children or something terrible, they might say with it, “I can’t even”.
Like, it’s too bad to even think about. Basically, you’re cutting off the sentence. It’s like saying: I can’t even handle it or I can’t even deal with it. I can’t even waste my time with it. But the funny thing about it is it’s so bad that you don’t even want to waste your words on it so you just cut it off after ‘I can’t even’.
What about ‘salty’? This can describe someone who is agitated, annoyed, maybe bitter, upset. I can’t even. I’m so salty right now.
She’s really salty because he dumped her.
He’s salty because his parents took away his car.
We’re all salty sometimes, let’s face it.
So the meaning of these two terms is similar. The pronunciation of ‘can’t even’ is tricky because of the word ‘can’t’. Remember that Americans don’t fully pronounce that T: can’t. We almost never say that. We say can’t instead, which is a lot like the word ‘can’, but it’s more abrupt and cut off. can’t– can’t– Now, someone could get sloppy here: I can’t even. I can’t even. and connect it, drop the feeling of the T altogether: I can’t even. Then it sounds like CAN, I can’t even, it’s all connected and smooth. Even though it sounds like ‘can’, it’s still this phrase, can’t– I can’t even.
Remember the phrase is cut off here, there would be another verb in the sentence. So even though we’re cutting that off, the word ‘can’t’ still functions the same way here. It’s a helping verb. Can as a helping verb reduces to kn—kn—so that’s why we know it’s not ‘can’ because it’s not reduced. I can’t even. So when you hear that full AH vowel, it is the word ‘can’t’ even if you’re not hearing the T.
Salty, it’s a 2-syllable word with stress on the first syllable. Sallllty. Salty. So the T here is a True T because it’s part of a cluster. Salt. Salty. Salty. Ttt— Light True T release. And we do have a Dark L here. Sallllty. So you don’t want to actually lift your tongue tip up, salll—- for the L, we just don’t need it. Just make the dark L sound with the back of the tongue: salllllllty. Then the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth for the True T. Salty. Salty.
I know the pronunciation is hard, don’t get salty. Just work on it.
When is it appropriate to use slang? We went over that in summer of slang video 2. So click here to check out the whole series.