Listen to the audio:
…or watch the video!
Native English speakers communicate with the (unconscious) goal of speaking with efficiency–to say the most they can, in the shortest amount of time. This causes them to speak with rhythm, the music of English.
To add to this music and to speak with flow, native English speakers also connect their speech. This means that instead of stopping between words to take a breath, they connect words together.
So, when you speak or listen to English, know that the last sound of one word can often be heard at the beginning of the following word.
Native English speakers connect:
Let’s practice connected speech (consonants + vowels) with the following sentence:
- “Take a bite out of an apple.” (2x)
Here, notice how I pushed forward the consonant sounds at the end of each word and placed them at the beginning of the words that followed. I did not stop between each word and take a breath. So we could hear the consonant sounds at the end of each word nice and clearly.
Listen again. I’ll say it slower this time.
- “Take a bite out of an apple.” (3x)
- [TeYK ə BɑiYT æuwt əv ɪn ÆPɫ]
Note that we stress the content words (verbs, nouns, etc.) that carry meaning and say them nice and clearly. And my pitch (the musical note of my voice) was highest on the most important words in the sentence.
Listen and Repeat
“Take a bite out of an apple.” (3x)
Remember, don’t worry about sounding perfect or saying the sentence as fast as I did. What’s important is that you connect your speech to add flow and music to your English and to avoid sounding choppy. And remember that knowing how native English speakers connect their speech will help you to understand them with ease.
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