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  • I’ve gotten a few questions recently about the wordare’. Specifically someone recently

  • asked if they were hearing correctlyWhat you doing?” instead ofWhat are you doing?”

  • That is not grammatically correct, and a native speaker would not sayWhat you doing?”

  • However, a native speaker may reduce the wordareso much that a non-native speaker

  • would have problems hearing it. The wordarecan be reduced simply to the schwa/R sound,

  • er, er, er. So in this sentence, What are you doing?, you may very well hear whater,

  • whater, whater you doing? Whater you doing? With the er very low in pitch and very fast.

  • What are you doing? What are, what are, it sounds like the wordbutter’. Butter,

  • what are, what are you doing? Now that you know what youre listening for, see if you

  • can hear it in this sentence: What are you doing, what are you doing, what are you doing?

  • The wordareis often shortened in writing as well, as a contraction withyou’,

  • we’, orthey’. Theyre, for example. But it doesn’t have to be written as a contraction

  • for it to be pronounced with this shortersound. Let’s look at a few more sentences

  • where the wordarecan be reduced. My cousins are coming tomorrow. My cousins are,

  • my cousins are, My cousins are coming tomorrow. My cousins are coming tomorrow. The cookies

  • are good. The cookies are, are, the cookies are good. Where are the girls? Now here the

  • word before ends in the schwa/R sound, er, where er the girls? I would explain it as

  • a re-emphasizing of the er sound: Where er the girls? But in fast speech, it actually

  • all blends together. Where are the girls? Where are the girls? So it sounds like the

  • word are is being dropped. Where are the girls? And someone else asked about the wordare

  • and the wordwere’ – about them sounding the same when theyre both reduced. The

  • wordwerewill always have that W sound at the beginning, so there is a difference

  • in the pronunciation of these words. Let’s look at an example sentence. The kids are

  • there. The kids er, er, er, just the R sound, the kids are there. The kids were there. The

  • kids ww, ww, were, were, the kids were there. The second one has that W sound in it. The

  • kids are there, the kids were there. The kids are there, the kids were there. Can you hear

  • the difference? Now that you know this concept of the reduced wordare’, try it out

  • in your speech. And listen for it when youre listening to native speakers. That’s it,

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

I’ve gotten a few questions recently about the wordare’. Specifically someone recently

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A2 US sound reduced native speaker native er sound ww

American English: How to pronounce the Word ARE

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    ABbla Chung posted on 2014/09/23
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