Come study English in real life as I visit my parents in Colorado. You’ll get to study English conversation and these topics: How to pronounce ‘river’, gorge (the noun and the verb), the idioms ‘to keep your eyes peeled’ and ‘keep an eye out’. Also, the pronunciation of ‘moose’ and ‘elk’.
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In this American English pronunciation video, you’re going to come with me and my parents to Colorado. You’ll get to see some of the natural beauty of this state, and study American English pronunciation in real life.
Today’s topics: How to pronounce ‘river’, gorge, the noun and the verb, the idioms ‘to keep your eyes peeled’ and ‘keep an eye out’. Also, the pronunciation of ‘moose’ and ‘elk’.
>> One neat feature of Colorado is the Colorado river. Now, it might not look like too much here, but this is the river that carved out the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
I was lucky enough to visit the Grand Canyon on my Epic Road Trip Across America this summer.
>> The word ‘river’ is a two-syllable word with stress on the first syllable. DA-da. River. It begins with an R consonant. When the R comes at the beginning of a word, the lips to make a tight circle for that, rr, and the tongue is pulled back. For me, the middle part is touching the roof of the mouth about here, rr, the tip isn’t touching anything. Then we have the IH vowel, so the jaw will drop just a bit and the tongue will come forward. Riv-.
>> Then for the V, the bottom lip will come up and make contact with the bottom of the top front teeth. Riv-er. Then we have the schwa-R ending, so the tongue will come back into position for the R. The jaw doesn’t need to drop. River, river.
>> We’ve stopped here to take a look at the Byer’s Gorge. A gorge is a deep, rocky ravine. And, as you can see, we have these nice, beautiful rock faces going up on either side. And I think it’s just beautiful. In this case, the Colorado river is what’s flowing down, uh, in the middle. I suppose it is what has worn the edges of the mountains down.
>> Gorge is sort of a tricky word. It starts with the G consonant, then it has the AW as in LAW, but the tongue must pull straight back for the R consonant, gor-, gor-, -ge. And it ends with the J as in JAR consonant sound. Gorge. It’s gorgeous!
>> Well gorge also has the meaning of eating too much food, when you gorge out.
>> That’s true.
>> On a bunch of food.
>> That’s true. So this is the noun gorge, and the verb gorge: stuffing your face, basically.
>> That’s right.
>> And it’s sort of funny in that, in the one, gorge is hollowing out, cutting away
>> …this big ravine
>> … in the mountains, and on the other, gorge is filling up.
>> Right. Stuffing!
>> Way too much.
>> That’s interesting.
So, gorge the noun is a narrow valley, like you saw, typically with rock walls and a river or stream running through it. The verb has a completely different meaning, to eat a lot of food, to stuff yourself. The word comes from a word meaning throat.
Next we drove to Rocky Mountain national park to see elk and moose.
>> Okay, so keep your eyes peeled for both elk and moose.
Keep your eyes peeled means to watch for something. We use it with ‘for’, which you know we like to reduce. Keep your eyes peeled for moose and elk.
>> So keep your eyes peeled for both elk and moose.
>> Dad, what’s the other idiom we came up with for this?
>> Uh, keep an eye out for elk and moose.
As we drive, we’ll keep an eye out for moose and elk.
>> Keep an eye out for elk and moose.
>> Yes. Keep an eye out is not the same thing as keep an eye on.
>> No. That’s correct.
>> If we had some elk here, we could keep an eye on them. But since we don’t have any and we’re looking for them, we’re keeping an eye out for them.
Keep an eye on means to watch or pay attention to something. For example, keep an eye on the time so you’re not late.
>> Elk has the EH as in BED vowel. A lot of jaw drop. Then the Dark L, so the back part of your tongue has to pull back, el-k. Then the K. So lift your tongue to the soft palate, and release. Elk.
>> It’s fun being able to get so close. There’s two here, which brings me to the point that the plural of elk is elk. You don’t add an S or anything. One elk, two elk.
We got lots of good views of elk. But I really wanted to see a moose. I only saw them at a distance, sitting down. We had been looking the whole day, and I was starting to think I wouldn’t see one. Then, just before it was dark out…
>> I feel very luck to be seeing my first moose. Moose is an easy pronunciation. It’s the M consonant sound, the OO as in BOO vowel, and the S consonant sound. Plural, just like ‘elk’, adds no s. It’s still just moose. One moose, a herd of moose. Isn’t it beautiful? This is a female, so it doesn’t have the antlers.
I hope you enjoyed this study of real life American English in the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.