Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • When my husband proposed to me, he got down on one  knee in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia on a  

  • beautiful September day. In today's video, we're  taking a scene from a movie Welcome to Marwen and  

  • a marriage proposal is about to happen. We'll use  this scene to study English, specifically American  

  • English pronunciation. We'll do an in-depth  analysis like this, which greatly improves  

  • your listening comprehension when it comes to  movies, TV, and English conversation. And the  

  • more you know about these pronunciation habits of  native speakers, the easier it will be for others  

  • to understand you speaking English. As always, if  you like this video or you learned something, new  

  • please give it a thumbs up and subscribe with  notifications, I'd love to see you back here.

  • The premise of the movie is Mark suffered  a violent crime. He was beat up very badly.  

  • Then he built this world of dolls in his  backyard to help him cope. And in this world,  

  • there's a doll of himself and a doll of a woman  named Nicole. Mark wants to propose to Nicole.  

  • But first he has the doll version of himself do  it. So in this clip, he is showing some scenes of  

  • that proposal to Nicole. Here's the clip.

  • He built her a teahouse and then proposed  

  • to her in it? Yes. That's right

  • Wow. That's exactly what Nicole said

  • And then, he gave her a medal? Well, he couldn't find a ring

  • Remember there's a war on. Oh yeah, of course

  • And he got down on one knee and everything

  • Did you notice that the T was dropped in the 

  • word exactly? Did you notice how the H was  dropped in the word 'her' in the phrase  

  • 'gave her a medal'? Let's do an  in-depth analysis of the scene now.

  • He built her a-- So she puts a pause here,  

  • while she's considering what to say, and we have  one stressed word in this first thought group.  

  • He built her a-- and it's the peak of stress. The  word 'he' builds up to it. The words her and a,  

  • fall away from it, and it's all very smooth. He built her a-- the true T here releases  

  • right into the H. He built her a-- this is just  the schwa. He built her a-- he built her a--  

  • think of that as one word. Try to  make it that smooth. He built her a--

  • He built her a--  

  • tea house?

  • Tea house? Tea house? The intonation goes upthat's a little bit questioning, clarifying,  

  • she's not sure ,is it a tea house? Tea houseTea house? We have another true T here,  

  • because it starts a stressed syllable.

  • Tea house?

  • Tea house. It's a compound word, and with  compound words like eyeball, basketball,  

  • stress is on the first word of the compound  word. Tea house? Tea house? So this is house,  

  • house, unstressed. That's different than househouse, how it would sound stressed. Tea house,  

  • house, tea house. Although he or she makes the  intonation go up, so it's tea house? Tea house?

  • Tea house? Tea house? Tea house  and then proposed to her in it?

  • And then propose to her in it? And  then propose to her in it? So posed,  

  • is the most stressed syllable here. And rather  than drawing it like this with an up down shape,  

  • I'm gonna draw it going up, because her sentence  goes up. Proposed to her in it? And it's  

  • just all going up. So when we're in a part ofphrase where the intonation is going up, this is a  

  • yes/no question, and those usually go up in pitchwhen we have a stress syllable like that, rather  

  • than being up down, he built, it tends to scoop  up. Propo, po, and then propose to her in it?

  • And then proposed to her in it?  

  • And then, pronounced: and then, and then, and  then, and then, and then, low in pitch, very flat,  

  • they're unstressed words. The D is dropped. And  then, and then, and then. This is a simplified  

  • voiced TH because it starts an unstressed  syllable. So you don't need to bring your tongue  

  • tip through. Then, then, and then, and thenand then, and then. The tongue moves forward,  

  • touches the backs of the teeth, and then pulls  back. And then, and then, and then, and then.  

  • And then

  • proposed to her in it?

  • Pro-- the first syllable of this stressed word is  unstressed, so it's going to feel more like these  

  • words: and then pro, and then pro, and then pro--

  • And then pro

  • And then proposed to her in it?

  • And then propose--  

  • The S, the letter S here is a Z sound in  this word, proposed. Proposed to her in it?

  • Proposed to her in it?

  • So let's talk about our sequence of sounds hereWe have Z in proposed. The ED ending is just a D  

  • sound, so it's not two sounds here, it's justsingle D sound: proposed to-- and then we have a  

  • true T in the word 'to'. When we have a D between  two consonants, it's not uncommon to drop it,  

  • or a T sound, so these ending, ED endings, can  be dropped if the sound before is a consonant and  

  • the sound after is a consonant. So that might  be confusing, you might be like, well, how do  

  • I know it's past tense? And we know that because  of the context. So we don't actually hear the ED  

  • ending. We don't actually hear the D sound. But we  know it's past tense because they're talking about  

  • something that happened. He's showing her pictures  telling her a story. But if you've ever wondered  

  • what happens with ED endings sometimesThat's what happens. When it's a T or  

  • a D sound, and it comes between two other  consonants, it's pretty common to drop it.

  • Propose to---

  • So we go right from the Z sound into the true T.  

  • This is a schwa. It's not to, it's: to  to to. Proposed to, proposed to, proposed  

  • to. Z to T with no D. Proposed to her in it.

  • Proposed to her in it.

  • To her in it. To her in  

  • it. She does a little tiny bit of a break  here. To her in it. In it. In it. In it.

  • Again, pitch is on its way up  and we have a stop T here. In it.  

  • In it. In it. Link these words togetherit shouldn't feel like two separate words.  

  • The N, you can feel like begins the next  word. Nit nit nit, in it. In it. In it.

  • In it. In it. In it.

  • In it.

  • Yes.

  • Yes. Yes. Up down shape, statementanswering the question. Yes.

  • Yes.

  • That's right.

  • Then a little two word thought group. That's  right. That's right. Stress on right. It does  

  • end with a stop T. That's right. That's  right. What happens to the word that's?  

  • That's, that's, that, do you hear it?

  • That's right.

  • No, not really. That's, it's, what's, let's,  these can all be reduced to just TS. That's right.

  • That's right.

  • Now, I feel like I do hear a little sound  before. It's sort of like a super unclear TH  

  • schwa. That's, that's, that's, that's. But  

  • it's very subtle and it would be common to  even just drop that and just say: T's right.  

  • T's right. But I'm hearing something like: it's  right, just a little vocalization before the TS.  

  • That's right. That's right. That's right.

  • That's right.

  • Wow. Wow. Wow. Up down shape. Wow. Lips around  

  • for the W constant at the beginning, and for  the second half of the OW diphthong. Wow. Wow.

  • Wow.

  • That's exactly what Nicole said.  

  • Now he's kind of whispering. He's  excited. That's exactly what Nicole said.

  • That's exactly what Nicole said.

  • Let's make this a little bit more clear.

  • Exact-- the stress is here on the second  syllable. That's exactly, that's exactly,  

  • the TS cluster linking right into the vowelThat's exactly. The letter X here, this has two  

  • pronunciations. This one is the GZ, it can either  be GZ or KX. And here, it's-- sorry, GZ or KS.  

  • Here, it is GZ. Eg eg eg-- exactly. Now do you  notice, I'm dropping the T? That's really common  

  • when the T comes between two other consonantsSo if I was just saying the word without the LY  

  • ending, I would say you need to be exact. Exact. I  would say the T if that was the end of my thought.  

  • You need to be exact. But because it's got an  LY ending, exactly, we now drop that, so it  

  • just goes right from the K sound to the L sound.  I only know one person who pronounces that T.  

  • I have one friend who's very particular, and  she says: exactly, she is the only person I  

  • know who does that. So she's dropping it  here, I'm sorry, he is dropping it here,  

  • please also drop that T, it's going to be  more natural. That's exactly. That's exactly.

  • That's exactly

  • what Nicole said

  • That's exactly what Nicole said. That's exactly what Nicole said.

  • What Ni-- what Ni-- these are both going up  towards that peak of stress. We have a stop T,  

  • what Nicole said. And then said is coming  off of that peak of stress. What Nicole said.  

  • That's exactly what Nicole said.

  • That's exactly what Nicole said

  • When you're imitating the audio here, try to match  his vocal quality, his whisper quality as well.  

  • Not just the pitch and the rhythm, but  try to match everything about the voice.  

  • Pretend that you're him when  you're working with this audio.

  • That's exactly what Nicole said.

  • And then he gave her a medal?

  • And then, and then, and then, a little break  here, breaking it up into two thought groups.  

  • And then, then, is definitely the stressed word,  

  • the word 'and' just comes on the way upand it's reduced, it's not and, what is it?

  • And then---

  • And then, and then, i would just write  that schwa N. And then, and then.

  • And then---

  • And then, and then, and then. For this  TH, you don't need to make too much of it,  

  • she's not saying and thenand then, and then. She's  

  • sort of leaving it out, not really, I  mean her tongue tip is probably coming out  

  • for the N. You can make the N with your tongue  tip actually out of your mouth. Nnn-- nnn--  

  • And so that's probably what's happening, we  do these shortcuts without thinking of them.

  • And then---

  • And then, and then. And so then it's  just right there to immediately pull back  

  • for the EH vowel in then. So listen again, she's  not saying and then, and then, and then, tthhh--  

  • it's more subtle, more quiet than that,

  • And then---

  • gave her a medal?

  • He gave her a medal? He gave her-- up down  shape of stress there. A medal? And then here,  

  • it's going up because it's a yes/no questionHe gave her, he gave her, linking together  

  • really smoothly. EE vowel right into G. V  sound right into schwa R. She drops the H here,  

  • that's a common reduction. He gave her a--  er and a-- unstressed, flatter in pitch.  

  • He gave her a medal. And then we have the scoop up  for this stressed syllable. He gave her a medal?

  • He gave her a medal?

  • The L in medal is a dark L, it comes at  the end of that word. You don't need to  

  • lift your tongue tip, it's at  the end of the thought group.  

  • And so we would just say: medal uhl uhl with  that dark sound, and then we would be done.  

  • We don't lift the tongue tip. We make the  dark sound with the back of the tongue,  

  • while the tip is down. The back of the tongue  presses down and back. Uhl uhl. Medal? Medal?

  • This is a little bit tricky because we have  a flap, flap your tongue here for the D,  

  • it's not medal, dull, it's not  a full D. Medal? Medal? Medal?

  • But you flap your tongue against the  roof of the mouth, then let it down,  

  • make the dark sound with the back of your  tongue, and you're done. Medal? Medal?

  • Medal?

  • Well, he couldn't find a ring.

  • Well, well, going up, wellwhen he makes the pitch go up,  

  • that shows that he's going to continue  talking. Well, he couldn't find a ring.

  • Well, he couldn't find a ring.

  • He couldn't, he couldn't  find a ring. Do you feel that  

  • up down shape of stress on those wordsHe find a-- both flatter in pitch.

  • He couldn't find a ring.

  • He couldn't find a ring. He couldn't findcouldn't. In this N apostrophe T contraction,  

  • i don't really hear the T. I don't hearstop, so I'm going to write that as dropped.  

  • He couldn't. Couldn't find. So the L in this  word is always silent. Couldn't find. Right  

  • from N into F. Couldn't find. He couldn't findhe couldn't, find he couldn't find a ring. Very  

  • light D. Couldn't find a ring. Linking into the  schwa, couldn't find a ring, couldn't find a ring.

  • Couldn't find a ring.

  • Remember, there's a war on.

  • Remember, okay little pause, except  bring it into its own thought group.  

  • Three syllable word, listen to itTell me which syllable is stressed.

  • Remember---

  • Remember, it's the middle syllable. So it's  not remember, it's ruh ruh, make that a schwa,  

  • make it fast. Ruh ruh ruh ruh remember. Remember.

  • Remember,

  • there's a war on.

  • There's a war on. There's-- so she's sort  of saying the word oh, while he's talking.  

  • There's, there's, there's. This word, I  would say reduced, I'm not hearing there's.  

  • There's. There's. There's. There's. And  even though this would normally be a Z,  

  • I hear it as a very weak S.  There's. There's. There's. There's.

  • There's---

  • a war on.

  • There's, There's

  • A war on. A war on. A war on. Linking togethervery smoothly. The letter A is a schwa, a war  

  • on. And then the R links right into  the vowel. This can be either AW or  

  • AH as in father. War on. A war on.

  • A war on.

  • The word war, a little tricky it's W consonantthen it's got the AW as in law vowel, followed  

  • by R. This combination changes this vowel. So  this vowel is LA AH, but it's not wa wa war war.  

  • It's woh oh ohr. A different vowel sound, so  what happens is the R makes the AW a little more  

  • closed. Woh oh oh. Your lips are more round, your  mouth isn't as open, and the tongue pulls back a  

  • little bit. Woh woh war. This is the same sound  in core. Or quarter. Oh oh oh war war. A war on.

  • A war on.

  • A little note about linking. So we have a word in  American Englis, moron. You would call someone a  

  • moron who you think is dumb, makes bad decisionsHe's a complete moron. Moron. So this has the  

  • same sounds. It's AW as in law, R, and then the  same ending. So the M is different than the W.  

  • But moron sounds just like war on but withdifferent beginning sound. So that just is a  

  • way to illustrate how important linking isLinking makes two words sound just like one.  

  • The only difference between war on and moron  is the beginning consonant. There's no break or  

  • anything like that to show that one of them is two  words. Moron. War on. We just love to link words  

  • together in a thought group in American EnglishIt starts to feel like one long word. A war on.

  • A war on.

  • Oh yeah, of course.

  • Oh yeah, of course. Oh yeah, of courseShe really whispers it very quiet.  

  • Oh yeah, of course. Oh yeah, of course.

  • Oh yeah, of course.

  • And he got down on one knee and everything.

  • And he got down. Phrasal verb. Both are stressedGot down on one knee and everything. Everything.

  • And he got down on one knee and everything.

  • And he got down on one knee and everything.

  • Got down, one knee, and EH are our most stressed  syllables, the first syllable of everything.  

  • And he. How are those two words pronounced?

  • And he.

  • And he. And he. And he. And he.

  • The D is dropped, the H is dropped. AA  vowel N, EE vowel. And he. And he. And he.

  • You know, this is just like the name Annieonly Annie, the name, would be stressed.

  • And he---

  • Except Annie, since it's a name, would probably  never be pronounced unstressed. Annie, Annie,  

  • Annie, Annie. It would always