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  • >> Here with my friend Tom, my favorite Rachel’s English teacher, besides myself.

  • >> Of course. >> Were going to have a little conversation

  • and then turn it into a Ben Franklin exercise.

  • >> Are you stressed about anything, Rach? Can I call you Rach?

  • >> You can call me Rach. >> Um, sort, of, but in a very good way. You

  • know I’m leaving for Europe. >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going

  • to be gone for? >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks.

  • >> That’s a good long time. >> It’s a good long time. I’m leaving

  • in 10 days. So it feels like there’s a lot to be done.

  • >> Are you stressed about anything, Rach? [2x]

  • Are you stressed about anything, Rach? Every word there was quite fast except for the word

  • you’. It’s a little uncommon to stress a function word like this. Normally, I think

  • I would stress the wordstressed’. Are you stressed about anything, Rach? But the

  • reason why Tom stressed the wordyouis because I had just asked him if he was

  • stressed about anything. So now, he was turning the question to me, and he stressedyou’.

  • Are you stressed about anything, Rach?

  • >> Are you stressed about anything, Rach? [2x]

  • A couple other things I notice about this sentence, Tom turns the T into a D, making

  • it a flap. About anything, about anything. He’s doing this because it’s a T coming

  • between two vowel sounds. Even though it’s two separate words, the T still comes between

  • two vowel sounds, which means it’s a great opportunity to link the two words together

  • with a Flap T (which sounds like the American D).

  • About anything [3x]. Are you stressed about anything, Rach?

  • >> Are you stressed about anything, Rach? [2x]

  • Did you notice how the intonation went up at the end? About anything Rach? Rach? Rach?

  • That’s because this is a yes/no question. And yes/no questions go up in pitch at the

  • end.

  • >> Are you stressed about anything, Rach? Can I call you Rach?

  • >> You can call me Rach.

  • >> Can I call you Rach? >> You can call me Rach.

  • These next two sentences are great examples of reducing the wordcan’.

  • >> Can I call you Rach? >> You can call me Rach.

  • The wordcanis so fast there, as if it has no vowels at all. Just the K sound

  • and the N sound. Kn, kn, kn. Can I call you Rach? You can call me Rach.

  • >> Can I call you Rach? >> You can call me Rach. [2x]

  • Notice how everything flows together. We don’t feel like we have five separate words in this

  • sentence. Can I call you Rach? Can I call you Rach? It’s just like one long word.

  • We do that by linking words together. When a word begins with a vowel, and the word before

  • ends in a consonant, this is an easy time to link. Just like up here, when we used a

  • Flap T to link. Can I. [3x] Linking an ending consonant to a beginning vowel helps smooth

  • out the line. Can I. Can I call you Rach? You can call me Rach. Again, the wordcan

  • is almost lost here. Kn, kn. You can call me Rach.

  • >> Can I call you Rach? >> You can call me Rach. [2x]

  • We reduce the wordcanlike this when it’s not the only verb in the sentence.

  • In these two sentences, the main verb iscall’. That means the wordcanis a helping

  • verb. That’s a function word, it’s not as important as the main verbcall’.

  • The wordcanis usually a helping verb. When you pronounce it reduced, kn, kn, it

  • will help you sound more American. Can I call you Rach? You can call me Rach. Kn, kn.

  • >> Can I call you Rach? >> You can call me Rach.

  • >> Um, sort of, but in a very good way.

  • Did you notice? Another Flap T here, linking the wordsortandof’. Sort of,

  • sort of, sort of. So it sounded like an American D. I just said that when the T comes between

  • two vowel sounds, it turns into a Flap T and can link words. But R is not a vowel sound.

  • The rule is, if the T comes between two vowels, or after an R, before a vowel, that it becomes

  • a Flap T. Sort of. [3x] If we think of this as one word, stress is on the first syllable.

  • Sor-duv. And the second syllable is very fast. It has the schwa, not a full vowel. Sort of. [2x]

  • >> Um, sort of, but in a very good way.

  • Let’s go back for a second. I left something important out. The wordum’. This is

  • the word we use when were thinking. Um or uh. These thinking sounds use the UH as

  • in BUTTER vowel. Uh, uh. I call this the core sound of American English. Everything in the

  • mouth, face, neck, throat is extremely relaxed. Uh, um. That allows the placement to be lower

  • in the body, less in the face. Very American. Um, uh.

  • >> Um, sort of, but in a very good way. [2x]

  • The first syllable of the wordvery’, ver-, and the wordway’, but in a very

  • good way, are the most stressed. Do you hear how fast this string of function words is?

  • But in a. [4x] But in a very good way. They all link together. Again, we have ending consonant

  • linking into a beginning vowel, ending consonant linking into a beginning vowel. Both of these

  • links help to make it sound like one word, very smooth. But in a, but in a. Again, this

  • T is turning into a Flap T, or, a D sound. But in a, but in a. But in a very good way.

  • >> Um, sort of, but in a very good way. You know I’m leaving for Europe.

  • You know I’m leaving for Europe. What do you hear as the most stressed syllables in

  • this sentence? I hearknow’, ‘leav-‘, ‘Eur-‘. You know I’m leaving for Europe.

  • >> You know I’m leaving for Europe. [2x]

  • These are all the most important parts of the sentence, the content words. Content words

  • are nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Here we have verb, verb, and proper noun.

  • You know I’m leaving for Europe. Notice that in a content word, for example, leaving,

  • that only the stressed syllable is stressed. Even though this is an important word, and

  • it’s a stressed word in the sentence, the unstressed syllable, theing ending, is

  • not stressed. So, unstressed syllables, even in stressed words, are still unstressed syllables.

  • >> You know I’m leaving for Europe. [2x]

  • Notice I use the contraction I’m. Some of my students don’t like to use contractions

  • because they don’t think theyre clear enough. They will say ‘I am’. You know

  • I’m leaving for Europe. But using a contraction, like I’m, is just like up here, where we

  • took these three words and linked them together and made them very fast. But in a. So, contractions

  • are words we reduce and link together in writing and in speech. I’m, I’m.

  • >> You know I’m leaving for Europe. [2x]

  • Reducing and contracting words will help you sound very American. There’s actually one more

  • example of a reduction in this sentence. It’s the wordfor’. For Europe. For Europe.

  • I reduced that vowel to the schwa. And the schwa-R together make one sound, rr. Rr, rr,

  • fr, fr. For Europe, for Europe. And again, here we have an ending consonant linking into

  • a beginning vowel. For Europe. [3x] So those two words glide together very easily. For

  • Europe, for Europe.

  • >> You know I’m leaving for Europe. >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going

  • to be gone for?

  • This was all very fast. Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for? Wow.

  • Tom didn’t even really finish the wordright’. Yes that’s right how long? He certainly

  • didn’t pronounce a full T. He moved on to the next sentence before he even finished

  • that word.

  • >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for?

  • So there was no real break here between sentences. You probably noticed he tookgoing to

  • and turned it intogonna’. How long are you gonna? You gonna? [3x] How long are you

  • gonna be gone for?

  • >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for? [2x]

  • Did you notice Tom did not reduce the wordforto the schwa. Well, I just said

  • that that’s something that we want to do with this word in order to make it sound more

  • American. But, I do need to add: we don’t reduce words likeforwhen theyre

  • at the end of a sentence.

  • >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for?

  • There, they need to be fully pronounced. Even though it was still very fast, it wasn’t

  • a stressed word, it did have the full vowel.

  • >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for?

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks.

  • I’m going to be gone for five weeks. [2x] Again, I used ‘I’m’ instead of ‘I

  • am’. That helped me make it fast and less important, compared to the more important

  • words in the sentence.

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. [2x]

  • You also may have noticed, I also tookgoing toand pronounced itgonna’.

  • I’m gonna [3x].

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. [2x]

  • How do you hear this wordfor’? Listen again.

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. [2x]

  • Youre right, it’s reduced. For, for, for, for five, for five. For five weeks.

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. [2x]

  • So, the most important words there, the loudest, the clearest, aregone’, ‘five’,

  • andweeks’. Those are the words that carry the actual meaning of the sentence.

  • So, we don’t reduce these more important words. But if we say all the other words fast,

  • reduce them, then it makes these more important words stand out the most. I’m going to be

  • gone for five weeks.

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. >> That’s a good long time.

  • That’s a good long time. Tom didn’t really pronounce the TH here. He reduced the word

  • that’s’ to just the schwa-TS sound. Utsa, utsa, utsa good long time. [2x]

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. >> That’s a good long time. [2x]

  • We reduce that’s, it’s, what’s, at the beginning of a sentence like this a lot. And

  • look, we have an ending consonant beginning vowel to link. That’s a, [3x]

  • that’s a good long time. He stressed the last three words.

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. >> That’s a good long time. [2x]

  • We have adjective, adjective, noun.

  • The three content words are stressed, longer, clearer.

  • >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks. >> That’s a good long time.

  • >> It’s a good long time. I’m leaving in ten days.

  • I reduced the wordit’s’ by dropping the vowel. Tsa, tsa, it’s a good long time.

  • >> It’s a good long time. I’m leaving in ten days.

  • It’s a good long time. Linking the TS cluster into the schwa. Tsa, tsa, it’s a good long

  • time. It’s a good long time. Again, these three words are stressed, good long time.

  • I stressed the wordgoodthe most. It’s a good long time. It’s a good long time.

  • Just like Tom did earlier, I didn’t really leave a sentence break here, did I? I went

  • straight on to my next thought.

  • >> It’s a good long time. I’m leaving in ten days.

  • Look. Another contraction. The most important syllables in that sentence: leav-, ten, days.

  • I’m leaving in ten days. [4x] Again, theyre the most important parts of the sentence for

  • content. The verb leaving, and the time amount, ten days.

  • >> I’m leaving in ten days, so it feels like there’s a lot to be done.

  • I notice the worditis not very clear. So it feels. [2x]

  • >> I’m leaving in ten days, so it feels like there’s a lot to be done.

  • So it feels like. The worditbegins with a vowel. Here, the word before ends with

  • a vowel. So we can link vowel to vowel. So it. [3x] So it feels like. It’s a very smooth

  • transition. And it can feel like I go through the glide consonant W. So it. [3x] That helps

  • me link them together. So it feels like.

  • What’s happening with the T init’? It’s a Stop T. So it, so it, so it feels.

  • So it feels like. The T is not fully pronounced, tt. So it, so it. But instead, I stop the

  • air. So it. In general, we pronounce T’s this way when the next sound is a consonant.

  • So it feels like there’s a lot to be done. And the ending Z sound ofthere’s’

  • links right into the schwa sound uh. There’s a, there’s a, there’s a lot to be done.

  • >> There’s a lot to be done. [2x]

  • How are these two words pronounced? Lot to, lot to. This is clearly not anoovowel,

  • it’s a schwa. Lot to. But what about the T’s? Lot to. I’m making the first T a

  • Stop T. Lot. So I’m just stopping the air for a secondlot to, lot tobefore releasing

  • to make the second T. There’s a lot to be done.

  • >> There’s a lot to be done. [2x]

  • We use these three words together, a lot to, quite a bit. Let’s do a quick comparison

  • to ‘a lot of’, which we also use together frequently. Here we have an ending T consonant

  • and beginning vowel. The T comes between two vowels, so it’s a Flap T or a D sound. A

  • lot of, a lot of. So the T inlotis pronounced one way in this phrase, a lot to,

  • and a different way in this phrase, a lot of. Let’s listen to the whole bit of conversation

  • one more time.

  • >> Are you stressed about anything, Rach? Can I call you Rach?

  • >> You can call me Rach. >> Um, sort, of, but in a very good way. You

  • know I’m leaving for Europe. >> Yes, that’s right. How long are you going

  • to be gone for? >> I’m going to be gone for five weeks.

  • >> That’s a good long time. >> It’s a good long time. I’m leaving

  • in 10 days. So it feels like there’s a lot to be done.

  • Even with just a little bit of speech, there’s a lot to study. Thanks for studying with me.

  • That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

>> Here with my friend Tom, my favorite Rachel’s English teacher, besides myself.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 BEG US rach stressed vowel leaving long time europe

English Conversation Exercise - Is Rachel Stressed? Ben Franklin Exericse

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    nini   posted on 2015/03/25
Video vocabulary