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  • Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Let's talk about four ways to sound more American when you speak English.

  • Have you ever been watching an American movie and thought, “Oh, it would be great if I

  • could sound like Tom Cruise?”

  • Or maybe you've watched one of my videos already and thought, “I would love to sound

  • like Vanessa.”

  • Well today I'm going to give you some tips to help you make your pronunciation sound

  • more like an American, and by American, I mean the United States of America.

  • There are a couple of things that we need to talk about first though.

  • What in the world is an American accent?

  • Because a lot of people in the U.S. have different styles of speaking, here I'm going to be explaining

  • how to sound like the most general American accent, which is that of news reporters or

  • Hollywood.

  • When you think about Tom Cruise, this is the accent that I'm talking about.

  • I'm not talking about a New York accent, a Southern accent, a California accent.

  • I'm talking about standard American English.

  • Of course, if you want to sound more American, you need to use American expressions instead

  • of British or Australian expressions.

  • If you would like to know some differences between these expressions, make sure you check

  • out the playlist that I'll link here and in the description.

  • Finally, the best way to improve your pronunciation to sound more American or if you want to sound

  • more British or Australian is to shadow, and this means you're imitating word for word

  • everything that that person is saying.

  • You're repeating directly after the speaker.

  • I have a couple of videos where I explain the shadowing technique, so be sure to click

  • there or in the description to check out those videos.

  • It's also great to be able to break down the sounds of a language, and that's what I'm

  • going to do today is talk about four important concepts that you need to include in your

  • speaking if you want to sound more American.

  • Are you ready?

  • The first way that you can sound more American is to change your T sounds to D sounds when

  • they are between two vowels.

  • Let's listen to a sentence that uses a lot of these.

  • Dan: In New York City he wore an exciting sweater because that always made him satisfied.

  • In New York City he wore an exciting sweater because that always made him satisfied.

  • Vanessa: City, exciting, sweater.

  • Here we have at T between two vowel sounds like I mentioned and it's changing to a D.

  • It's not a “Tuhsound.

  • It isDuh.”

  • This also happens between words.

  • You heard that always, that always.

  • This isn't always done, but it's often done when native speakers are talking quickly.

  • We link together words by making the final T change into a D, that always.

  • Oh, so this can be used in a lot of different situations.

  • A couple years ago, I had a British friend who I always teased because whenever I asked

  • him to speak in an American accent, the only thing he would say is, “Water bottle, water

  • bottle, water bottle,” again and again and again, and it was so funny because it really

  • is the perfect example of an American accent.

  • It uses the T changing to a D, water bottle, and it also uses one more concept that we're

  • going to talk about a little bit later in this video.

  • Now I want to give you a chance to practice this pronunciation, T changing to a D.

  • We're going to listen to that clip one more time of that sample sentence, and then there's

  • going to be a pause.

  • I want you to read that sentence and try to imitate, try to shadow that pronunciation.

  • Are you ready to use your speaking muscles?

  • Let's do it.

  • Dan: In New York City he wore an exciting sweater because that always made him satisfied.

  • Vanessa: The second way to sound more American when you speak is to use the colored R. What

  • in the world is that?

  • Well it's in the middle of the word when there is an R plus a consonant.

  • A consonant is any letter that's not a, e, i, o, u.

  • It might be RS, RD, any word that has an R plus a consonant.

  • It's going to sound like, “Err, err.”

  • Let's listen to a sample sentence that uses this a lot.

  • Dan: The first word that you learned is the one you heard the most.

  • The first word that you learned is the one you heard the most.

  • Vanessa: Did you notice something in this sentence?

  • There are a lot of different vowel sounds that change to sound like one sound, err.

  • In the word first, there is an I.

  • In the word word, there is an O.

  • In the word heard and learned, there is E, A, but they all sound likeErr, err.”

  • This is the colored R and it's really typical in American English, err, heard.

  • Let's listen to that clip again, and the same as before, I want you to try to imitate and

  • shadow that pronunciation style.

  • Test your pronunciation muscles.

  • Try to sound like an angry dog.

  • First, word, learned.

  • It sounds a little crazy when you're practicing, but of course when you're speaking with other

  • people, you can tone it down, but it's good to exaggerate when you're practicing pronunciation

  • because you're getting your muscles prepared.

  • Then when they're already ready to use those sounds, it will feel more natural.

  • Your muscles will know where to go and then you can tone it down and not sound so crazy

  • when you're speaking with other people.

  • When you're practicing, don't worry about exaggerating.

  • The first word that I learned.”

  • Take it easy, try it yourself and let's listen and pause, and it's your turn to speak.

  • Dan: The first word that you learned is the one you heard the most.

  • Vanessa: My next tip for sounding American is to include in an E-R at the end of your

  • words, er.

  • This is really typical in American English, so before I explain it any further, let's

  • listen to a sentence that includes this a couple of times.

  • Dan: In the letter he wrote, “Remember to water the flowers.”

  • In the letter he wrote, “Remember to water the flowers.”

  • Vanessa: When my British friend was saying, “Water bottle,” this was the second American

  • sound that he was using, the E-R at the end of the word, er, water.

  • Don't forget to water the flowers.

  • Remember to water the flowers,” and this is going to really test your R pronunciation.

  • We used it in the previous tip and now we're using it, er, again.

  • You really need to make sure your Rs are strong and powerful.

  • Remember to water the flowers.”

  • All right, let's listen to that clip one more time and then we're going to pause, and I

  • want you to say it out loud.

  • Speaker 2: In the letter he wrote, “Remember to water the flowers.”

  • Vanessa: My fourth and final tip is a specific contrast with British English.

  • It is the ending A-R-Y.

  • Again, we're talking about R because R is essential in English and it's essential in

  • a lot of different languages.

  • I think oftentimes the R is the most challenging sound in other languages because it's so integral.

  • Well in this case, A-R-Y at the end of words is going to indicate that in American English

  • we're going to pronounce the full word.

  • Library, secretary, military.

  • Do you hear that ending?

  • Ary, ary, ary.

  • Library.

  • Cool.

  • We're going to say the full word.

  • Let's listen to a quick sentence that uses a couple of these examples.

  • Speaker 2: At the library, the secretary read a book about the military.

  • At the library, the secretary read a book about the military.

  • Vanessa: In American English, you're going to pronounce each of the final letters, A-R-Y,

  • military.

  • In British English, they often cut out the A, so instead of, “Military,” it would

  • be, “Military, military.”

  • That A is just gone, but in American English, each of those letters are pronounced, “Military,

  • ary.”

  • Let's listen to this clip one more time, and then I want to pause and let you have a chance

  • to repeat the sentence yourself.

  • Speaker 2: At the library, the secretary read a book about the military.

  • Vanessa: How did you do with these American English pronunciation sentences?

  • Did you challenge your pronunciation?

  • Do you think that you can sound more American after watching this video?

  • I hope that these tips are useful to you, and let me know in the comments below.

  • Are there any other words that you can use to sound more American using these four tips?

  • Let me know, and I hope that you enjoyed this lesson.

  • I'll see the next time.

  • Bye.

  • The next step is to download my free e-book, Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English

  • Speaker.

  • This will help you know what is the next step in your English journey to help you really

  • master English and speak fluently.

  • Thanks so much and I'll see you later.

  • Bye.

Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

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A2 US american vanessa sound pronunciation american english accent

4 Secrets to Having an American English Accent: Advanced Pronunciation Lesson

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