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  • In this American English pronunciation video,

  • were going to go over the idiom “a lot on my plate”.

  • I’ve got a lot on my plate.

  • What does it mean?

  • While it could literally mean that you've just overfilled your plate at dinner,

  • I’ve got a lot on my plate.

  • It figuratively has another meaning.

  • It means that I have a lot going on in my life right now,

  • maybe even too much.

  • I might say this if I have three papers due by the following morning.

  • Or if I have to work all day,

  • plus grocery shop, do laundry and clean the house before my in-laws come for the weekend.

  • I’m very busy.

  • I’ve got a lot I need to do.

  • I’ve got a lot on my plate!

  • Let’s study the pronunciation of “a lot on my plate”.

  • First, the rhythmic pattern.

  • A lot on my plate. Which words are the clearest to you?

  • LOT and PLATE should jump out at you.

  • They both have the up-down shape of a stressed syllable,

  • and theyre a little longer than the other syllables in the sentence.

  • A lot on my plate.

  • A lot on my plate.

  • So we have short, long, short, short, long.

  • da-DA-da-da-DA.

  • This means ‘a’, ‘on’, andmyare flatter, faster,

  • and a little less clearly pronounced.

  • A lot on my plate. da-DA-da-da-DA.

  • ‘A’ is just going to be the schwa sound.

  • So keep your face completely relaxed.

  • Ah- Your mouth will be slightly opened and your tongue will be relaxed and low in the mouth.

  • Ah- ah- a lot.

  • Then the front of the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth for the L consonant.

  • The jaw releases into the AH as in FATHER vowel.

  • A loh--

  • Drop the jaw and press the tongue down in the back just a bit.

  • A lo-. This is a stressed syllable,

  • so remember that it will be longer and have the up-down shape of stress.

  • A loh--

  • Then we have a Flap T.

  • This is because the T comes between two vowels.

  • The tongue doesn’t stop the air, but it just flaps against the roof of the mouth.

  • Alohhtta--

  • Depending on your native language, this may sound like an R to you.

  • A lot on--

  • Then we have a quick, unstressed AW vowel,

  • or AH vowel, both are okay,

  • --on, on, on.

  • Keep it quick and simple, this is an unstressed word.

  • The front of the tongue then reaches up to the roof of the mouth for the N consonant.

  • Nn-- The lips follow to make an N:

  • Nn-- nn-- a lot on my-- a lot on my--

  • I think you can even get away with dropping the N,

  • going straight into the M sound: "A lot on my plate."

  • since we want these two words to be said so quickly.

  • --on my, --on my, --on my, --on my.

  • A lot on my plate.

  • Myhas a quick, unstressed AI diphthong, my, my, my.

  • See that my lips and jaw don’t move much, my, my, my.

  • If the AI diphthong were in a stressed syllable, AI,

  • the mouth movements would be bigger.

  • But since it’s unstressed here, keep it simple.

  • A lot on my plate.

  • The last stressed word, plate.

  • The lips come together for the P, and the tongue tip will lift up for the L.

  • Pl-- When the lips part for the P, the tongue is in position for the L, pl, pl.

  • From the L the jaw will drop and the tongue tip will return to its lower position here

  • for the AY diphthong, playy-.

  • The jaw goes from being more dropped to less dropped in this diphthong,

  • --playyyy

  • as the tongue arches towards the roof of the mouth. Play-- play--

  • We end with a Stop T, so we abruptly stop the airflow.

  • Plate-- Plate--

  • A lot on my plate.

  • You can leave the tongue tip down and just stop the airflow in your throat.

  • Or, you can lift the tongue tip up into position for the T.

  • Plate-- Plate--

  • A lot on my plate. da-DA-da-da-DA.

  • A lot on my plate.

  • What if youre talking about someone else?

  • She has a lot on her plate.

  • Stress is the same.

  • Remember that you can drop the H in the wordherin unstressed situations like this.

  • Link the word to the word what comes before, --on her, --on her, --on her.

  • It sounds just like this wordhonor’, but unstressed: honor, honor.

  • A lot on her-- A lot on her-- A lot on her plate.

  • A lot on his plate. Again, drop the H.

  • On his-- On his-- On his--

  • A lot on his plate.

  • You have a lot on your plate.

  • Here you want to reduce 'your' to yer.

  • Move straight from the Y consonant to the R sound: yer, yer.

  • A lot on your, on your, on your. A lot on your--

  • You have a lot on your plate.

  • They have a lot on their plate.

  • When native speakers of English say this,

  • theyll reducetheirdown tother’, very quick, unstressed.

  • Moving straight from the voiced TH consonant into the R. Ther-- ther-- ther--

  • On ther-- On ther--

  • They have a lot on their plate.

  • On ther-- On ther--

  • They have a lot on their plate.

  • It’s important that when you practice the reductions for this

  • her, their, and your,

  • that you remember to keep these words unstressed and very quick.

  • If you reduce a word by changing the sounds, but stress the syllable,

  • it won’t sound right:

  • They have a lot on THER plate. THER.

  • That sounds strange. Keep it unstressed and quick.

  • Low in pitch, flatter in pitch.

  • They have a lot on their plate. Ther-- ther-- ther--

  • It sounds great.

  • Practice your English. Make up a sentence with this idiom and post it as a comment below.

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  • If you liked this video, there’s a lot more to learn about American English pronunciation,

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

In this American English pronunciation video,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 plate ther da lot tongue unstressed

Idiom: A Lot on my Plate – Learn American Idioms

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/09
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