Home / English Lessons / Pronunciation of Contracted Verbs: Must + have = “must’ve” [mʌstəv] | Part 6 | English Pronunciation Lesson

Pronunciation of Contracted Verbs: Must + have = “must’ve” [mʌstəv] | Part 6 | English Pronunciation Lesson

This lesson is Part 6  in the series on Pronouncing Verb Contractions in English:

Listen to the audio while reading the lesson:

…or watch the video: 

Must + have | Past Certainty

The verb “must” is used with “have” and the past participle of a main verb to express something that the speaker believes absolutely happened in the past. To form a sentence with “must” to talk about a past certainty:

must + have + past participle of main verb

Example

  • “I must have left my phone at the movie theater — I can’t find it anywhere!”

Here, the last place the speaker saw her phone was at the movie theater, and since she can’t find it anywhere else, she concludes that the only possible option left is that the phone is still at the movie theater. Notice that I said “must’ve” instead of “must have”. As the previous lessons on contracted verbs have already shown you, the music of English comes from the way native English speakers:

  1. stress their content words (meaning, they say them longer, louder, and higher in pitch); as well as
  2. de-stress their function words (meaning they say them quicker and more relaxed).

Function words in English are those that form the grammar and structure of a sentence and do not carry much content. These include auxiliary verbs, which accompany a main verb and add some grammatical meaning to the sentence. Because “have” is an auxiliary verb, we tend to de-stress it and contract it, then attach it to the verb preceding it. So, to contract “have”, simply:

  • delete the first consonant sound [h];
  • de-stress and relax the vowel sound ([æ] –> [ə]);  and
  • connect it to the verb before it.

“Have” –> [əv]

Must + have = “must’ve”  [mʌstəv]

Did you hear how much more relaxed the vowel sound in “have” is?

  • “must’ve”  [mʌstəv]

Remember that because “have” now begins with a vowel sound, you should connect your speech and pronounce the [t] in “must” at the beginning of “‘ve” [əv] –> [təv].

  • “must’ve”  [mʌstəv]

[ʌ] vowel sound

To produce the [ʌ] vowel sound in “must”, remember to:

  1. keep your lips in a relaxed position; and
  2. open your mouth just a little bit.
    • “must” [mʌst]
    • “must’ve”  [mʌstəv]

Now, let’s put it all together and practice.

Listen and Repeat

  • “He must have thought you didn’t like him, if he didn’t ask you out.”
  • “That conversation must have upset her; she hasn’t left her office all day!”
  • “They must’ve forgotten that we were going to meet today.” (<–notice that I said “gonna” instead of “going to”).
  • “The dog must have eaten the food on the table, because it’s gone!”

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Elemental English podcast on iTunes, and please leave us a review.

And if this lesson was helpful to you, feel free to share it with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter

ElementalEnglish.com is your resource for free English language and pronunciation lessons, 無料オンライン英語教材, 免费在线英文课程, 免費在線英文課程, मुफ़्त ऑनलाइन अंग्रेज़ी, آنلائن مفت میں انگریزی سیکھئے, Kostenloser Englisch-Unterricht Online, 무료 온라인 수업 잉글, Język angielski online, Học tiếng anh miễn phí, Libreng Pag-aaral ng Wikang Ingles sa Internet, Libreng Pag-aaral ng Wikang Ingles Online, دروس في اللغة الانجليزية على الانترنت مجانا, درس انگلیسی رایگان در اینترنت, American English pronunciation, アメリカ英語の発音, 纯正美语发音, 純正美語發音, अमरीकी अंग्रेज़ी, امریکی انگریزی کا تلفّظ سیکھئے, Amerikanisches Englisch Aussprache, wymowa język angielski, Học tiếng anh miễn phí, Wastong Pagbigkas ng American English sa Internet, astong Pagbigkas ng, تعلم اللهجة الامريكية على الانترنت, American English Online, كلمات انجليزية أمريكية Leçons de Prononciation Anglaise, درس تلفظ انگلیسی 영어 발음 수업 – 온라인 영어 수업

Leave a Reply

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.