Home / English Lessons / “h”-deletion | Connected Speech in English Pronunciation

“h”-deletion | Connected Speech in English Pronunciation

Audio:

This lesson is part of a series on How to Improve your American English Pronunciation. You can also check out lessons on:

  1. Adding Stress, Rhythm and Musicality to Your English Speech
  2. An Overview of Connected Speech and Linking

Using connected speech and deleting the [h] sound in the beginning of some words is an essential part of being understood when you speak.

For example, instead of asking:

  • “Did he get it?” [did hiy get it]

connected speech and “h”-deletion allows us to remove the [h] sound in “he” and pronounce it as [iy]:

  • “Did he get it?” [DI-diy GE-dit]
Do you hear how much faster and more native-like that sounds?

 

Listen and Repeat

  • “Did he get it?” [did hiy get it] | NO CONNECTED SPEECH
  • “Did he get it?” [DI-diy GE-dit] | WITH CONNECTED SPEECH

 

H-deletion Words

The following words are often pronounced quickly and without the [h] in the initial position.
  • he –> [iy]
  • him –> [Im]
  • his –> [Iz]
  • her –> [ɚr]
  • has –> [æz]
  • have –> [æv]

 

Listen and Repeat

  • “Did he get the new car?” [did hiy] –> [DI-diy]
  • “I want him to call me.” [want him] –> [WA-nim]
  • “That’s his choice.” [thats hiz] –> [THA-tsiz]
  • “She asked her to leave.” [asked her] –> [ASK-tuhr] or [AST-uhr]
  • “It has eight legs.” [it haz] –> [i-DAZ]
  • “We have a lot to do today.” [wiy hav] –> [wi-YAV]

Remember, improving your pronunciation in English is not about sounding perfect or exactly like an American. English language learners should improve their pronunciation so that they may be understood when communicating.

Also, knowing the rules of how Americans change the language when speaking will allow you to understand native English speakers much better. Because while you think we are speaking fast, what makes English difficult to understand is how the language is changed and transformed through connected speech.

[Get more practice: “h” deletion with connected speech practice)

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4 comments

  1. Hello,
    The lectures are really helpful. Thanks a lot!
    I’d like to ask do we skip the ‘h’ pronunciation in the word ‘hello’ as well or not?

  2. Jorge Luiz Ferreira de Aquino

    Besides Grammar your lessons had been helpful for me mainly when I get a doubt in reading texts.
    Thanks for all

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