Is it time for you to leave? This is a phrase you can use when heading out from a social or work situation. 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.
YouTube blocked? Click here to see the video.
In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over the pronunciation of the phrase: I have to go.
Let’s start with the stress da-Da-da-DA, I have to go. It’s a four-syllable phrase with stress on the second and fourth syllables, I have to go. The verb ‘go’ has the most stress. ‘I’, as an unstressed word, is going to be pretty fast and low in pitch, I, I, I. I have to go. You may drop the H here if you want. I -ave, I -ave, I have to go. Dropping the H in the word like this is pretty common even if it has secondary stress like it does in this sentence. I have, I have. I’m not reducing the vowel here, but I think you probably would hear some people do that. I have to go. Then the word ‘have’ is unstressed, that’s okay too. But I’m making the AA vowel. I –ave, I –ave, I –ave.
Next we have a V and a T. I tend to make this V an F instead because the next sound is unvoiced, ft, ft, ft. So the bottom lip will come up and touch the bottom of the top front teeth, ff. Then the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth for the T, ff. The teeth are together and the air stops, ff, tt. And I release the tongue and let the jaw drop a bit for the next sound, which is the schwa, fft, fft. Just a bit of jaw drop, the lips and tongue are neutral, have to, have to, have to, have to go.
The final and most stressed word, ‘go’, begins with the G consonant. So the back part of the tongue will lift and touch the soft palate. While the front part of the tongue stays where it is, behind the bottom front teeth, to g-, g-, g-, g-, to go. To finish we have the OH as in NO diphthong. Your jaw will need to drop for the first half of that diphthong. Then the jaw will come back up as the lips round, go, oh, oh, for the second half of the diphthong, go, go. I have to go, da-Da-da-DA, I have to go.
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.