Home / English Lessons / Pronunciation + Listening Practice in English | Ep. 2

Pronunciation + Listening Practice in English | Ep. 2

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One of the most important lessons to learn when improving your English is to speak with the stress and rhythm — the music — of the English language. This means:

 

Let’s practice by analyzing a question and answer.

Q: “So, what do you think of the inside?”

A: “It’s awesome. I have a funny feeling they’ll like it.”

“So, what”

Because we round our lips for the [ow] in “so”, there is naturally a [w] at the end of the word.

  • “so” [sow]

That [w] in [ow] then connects to the [w] in “what”. Connecting the speech of two of the same consonants means that we only say that consonant once. (Do not stop in the middle of the two words and take a breath to say the consonant sound twice!)

  • “so what”

“what do you think”

When we connect “what” and “do”, because the [t] and [d] are such similar sounds, we only say the sound once. Do not stop between words and take a breath.

  • “what_do”

When speaking, native English speakers naturally de-stress and shorten words that are used for grammar and do not carry much meaning. Therefore, we de-stress and connect “do you” and say it as [dəyə]. “Think” is a main verb that carries meaning, so you can say it clearly. Remember to put the tip of your tongue between your teeth to pronounce the “th” [θ].

  • “what do you think”

“think of the”

Here, we de-stress our function words “the” and “of” to say [əðə]. Connecting speech is particularly important when you connect a consonant to a following vowel, because the listener can hear this connection very clearly. So the [k] from “think” should be clearly heard at the beginning of [əðə].

  • “think of the” [θɪŋ kəðə]

the inside?”

In this case, we pronounce “the” as [ðiy] and connect that [y] sound at the end of [ðiy] to the following vowel sound. Remember to pull your lips back to pronounce that [aiy] vowel sound in “inside”.

  • “the inside” [ði yɪn saiyd]

Let’s practice the entire question all together. Notice how my intonation at the end of this wh-question goes down.

Listen and Repeat

Q: “So, what do you think of the inside?”

Q: “So, what do you think of the inside?”

———————

Now let’s analyze the answer.

A: “It’s awesome.

The “it’s” can be said so that you focus on the [ts] sound more than the vowel sound. We also connect our speech, so that we hear the [ts] from “it’s” at the beginning of “awesome”.

  • “it’s awesome”

“I have a”

Here, we have the option of deleting the “h” in ” have” to say “ave”. The “a” is a de-stressed function word, so we say:

  • “I have a” or “I _ave a”

“funny feeling”

This adjective and noun collocation are both content words, so we stress them and say them nice and clearly.

  • “funny feeling”

“they’ll like it.”

Here, we connect our speech, and we do not take a breath between words. So, “they’ll like” requires you to lengthen that [l] sound and just say it once. Also, connect the consonant to the following vowel, so say the [k] in “like” at the beginning of “it”.

  • “they’ll like it.”

Let’s practice the entire answer.

Listen and Repeat

 A: “It’s awesome. I have a funny feeling they’ll like it.”

A: “It’s awesome. I have a funny feeling they’ll like it.”

Now, the entire question and answer one more time.

Listen and Repeat

Q: “So, what do you think of the inside?”

A:  “It’s awesome. I have a funny feeling they’ll like it.”

Remember, the more pronunciation rules you learn, practice and implement, the more clearly you can speak and the better you will understand native English speakers. Don’t worry about sounding “perfect” — just focus on being clear and confident when you communicate.

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One comment

  1. christain miracl N

    I love this site its good for we the learners of english….

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