Thank you. You’re welcome! 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 ‘you’re welcome’.
This is part of a sentence study series, where we look at a short, common phrase, and discuss its pronunciation. Let’s start with the stress.
You’re welcome. What do you think is the most stressed syllable in this phrase? You’re welcome. da-DA-da. It’s the middle syllable. You may notice I’m reducing ‘you’re’ to ‘yer’, yer, you’re welcome. So we begin with the Y consonant, and go straight into the Schwa/R sound. To make the Y sound, my tongue tip is down, pressing the back of the bottom front teeth. What’s most important, though, is that the middle/front part of the tongue is touching the roof of the mouth, and sort of capturing this sound, Y, y’ yer, yer, (in my throat). You’re, you’re. To make the R sound, you’ve got to pull the tongue back, so the tip shouldn’t be touching anything. You’re. It really pulls back quite a bit. And now, rather than the middle/front touching the roof of the mouth, like it was for the Y, it’s the middle part of the tongue that’s touching the roof of the mouth, about here. Yer, er, er. Make sure your tongue pulls back enough. If it doesn’t, we miss the R sound altogether, and we get yuh, yuh. Yuh welcome. We want ‘yer’, ‘yer’. You’re welcome. Notice how I can make that without moving the jaw. Yer, yer, yer, yer. I can even make it without moving my lips, just the tongue. Yer, yer. But actually, the lips will move in this phrase because of the next sound.
You’re w-, you’re w-. The next sound is the W sound, so the lips will make a tight circle for that. Yer, you’re welcome. Some people confuse the W and the V. Make sure your lips are making a tight circle, and there’s no contact with the top front teeth. You’re w-
With this W, we’re starting the stressed syllable, so it should have the shape of a stressed syllable, a little curve up, and then a falling down in pitch. Wel-, wel-, wel-, you’re wel-. The jaw has to drop quite a bit for the vowel. We-, we-. The tongue tip stays down, touching here, while the middle part of the tongue stretches towards the roof of the mouth. Wel, wel.
Next we have the dark L sound. We make the dark part of the dark L by pulling the back part of the tongue back, uhl, uhl. The tongue tip stays down here, uhl. I don’t usually bring my tongue tip up to make the L in this word. You don’t need it if you’re making the dark sound. Wel, uhl, uhl Welllll-come. Do you see how my tongue never goes to the roof of my mouth. Wel, uhl, come, Welcome. I go straight from the dark sound into the K sound. So the back part of the tongue reaches up and touches the soft palate, the tip of the tongue stays where it is, here. Welll-come, -come, -come, -come. It’s unstressed, I want to make it really fast. I just go straight from the K sound into the M. So as I release the back part of the tongue for the K, my lips are coming together for the M. –come, -come, -come. You’re welcome. Uhhh. All connected. You’re welcome. Even though it’s two words, it’s just one thought group. So we want everything to be linked. You’re welcome. Uhhh. You’re welcome.
And now let’s look at the phrase, up, close and in slow motion.
This video is part of a series. Click here to see other videos just like it.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.