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[uw] vowel sound | English Pronunciation Lesson

Connected speech is a speaking technique that native English speakers use to speak with:

  • flow and
  • musicality.

It’s essential that English language learners learn the rules of connected speech if they want to both speak clearly and understand native English speakers.

Connected speech is most clearly heard when we connect a consonant sound to a vowel sound. However, sometimes this consonant-vowel linking comes when two words are connected by two vowels.

Example

If I say:

  • “Do you see it?”

I don’t stop between every word and say

  • “Do – you – see – it?”

Instead, I connect the words with connected speech and say,

  • “Do you see it?” [dyuw SiY yɪt]

Notice that “see” and “it” are connected by two vowels, the /e/ and the /i/. In English, the vowel sound in the word “see” actually ends in the consonant sound [y].

  • “see” [siy

So, when I connected the “see” to “it”, I connected the [y] to the [ɪ] and said:

  • “see it” [SiY yɪt]

This connection adds a little more flow and music to my speech.

  • “see it” [SiY yɪt]

The consonant connection that comes from vowels appears in the vowel sounds:

  • [ow] “oh” as in the verb “to go” 
  • [uw] “oooh” as in word “blue”
  • [iy] “eee” as in the verb “to see”

 

This lesson will practice connecting the [uw] vowel sound.

The [w] sound that comes at the end of the [uw] vowel sound is a natural consequence of rounding the lips. So remember, when you are saying the [uw] vowel sound, be sure to really round your lips, so that the [w] comes out naturally.

Listen and Repeat

  • “Please do it immediately.”
  • “It’s really blue in there.”
  • “She looks like she grew two inches!”
  • “The book was due a long time ago.”
  • “The politician should issue an apology.”
  • “You should pursue a career in law.”
  • “True or false?”

As always, post your questions and comments below. And if this lesson was helpful to you, feel free to share it with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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