Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Today you're transforming your spoken English by studying a scene from the movie A Star Is Born. When you study this way, you'll be able to understand American movies and TV effortlessly without subtitles. Today we're going to really slow down some of the speech so you can focus on how one word just slides into the next. Now the T in last, this is different. It's actually totally dropped. Last night. Right from the S into the N. We're going to be doing this all summer, June through August, stick with me every Tuesday, they're all great scenes, and there's going to be so much to learn that can transform the way you speak and understand English. And as always, if you like this video, or you learn something, please like and subscribe with notifications. You're going to watch the clip, then we're going to do a full pronunciation analysis together. This is going to help so much with your listening comprehension when it comes to watching English movies in TV. But there's going to be a training section. You're going to take what you've just learned and practice repeating it, doing a reduction, flapping a T just like you learned in the analysis. Okay, here's the scene. Hi, Ally. Hi. I'm Phil. We met last night? >> Yeah. I remember… >> Jack sent me to pick you up and take you to the gig. Oh. My god. Um, but, I gotta-- , I gotta work, I c--, can't go. He's really looking forward to this. I appreciate that. But, um. I can't leave. So I'll be in my car right down the street. Uh, please tell him: Thank you, but no thank you. >> Uh… >> Okay? Say it just like that. And now the analysis. Hi, Ally. Hi. Okay so we start off with three stressed words, and they all have that up-down shape. Hi, Ally. Hi. Aahhh. Notice it's not flat. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. That up-down shape is really important in American English. It's what we do with stressed syllables. Hi, Ally. Hi. Now, hi, is one syllable. Hi. Ally is two syllables it's the first syllable that's stressed. Ally. It has the exact same shape as Hi, but the second unstressed syllable, just sort of falls into the line of the voice on the way down. Ally. Ally. Ally. Ally. Ally. Hi, Ally. Hi. Hi, Ally. Hi, Ally. Hi, Ally. Hi. I'm Phil. I'm Phil. I'm Phil. Which one of those has the up-down shape? I'm Phil. I'm Phil. Definitely Phil. The word I'm, we barely even hear it. I am becomes I'm, but when we are speaking in a sentence, we might reduce that to just the M sound, or a schwa M. I'm Phil. I'm Phil. I would say it has more of a schwa M feel, unstressed. Instead of I'm, I'm, mmmm, I'm Phil. I'm Phil. I'm Phil. We met last night? We met last night? We met-- a little bit of that shape. We met last night. And night has stress too, but since it's going up in pitch, the stress is sort of a scoop up, rather than a shape up down. We met last night. And do you notice how... We're gonna play that in slow motion for you. Do you notice how it's so smooth? Everything connects. We met last night? We met last night? Uuhhh... I love slowing down speech because that's when we really get to feel the melody and notice how sloppy everything is as far as linking together. No definition between words. The word we is unstressed, it doesn't really sound like we, does it? It's more like wih, wih. We met-- So I would actually write that with the IH as in sit vowel, not the EE vowel. We met last-- okay now, how, T's are, a true T sounds like this, ttt, we stop the air, we release it. Every time we do that, it breaks up the line a little bit, because we have to stop the air and release. So if I made the T in met, a true T, and the T in last, a true T, it would sound like this. You know what, if I made the T in night a true T. The phrase would sound like this: we met last night. We met last night. That's not how he's doing it at all. We met last night? We met last night? We met last night? All of those true Ts change. Met is a stop T. We met last-- that means there's a little tiny break, but we don't take the time to do a release. So we stop the air, and that stop shows to us that it's a T. We met last-- We met last-- And so we hear it as a T. Now, the T and last, this is different. It's not a stop T. It's actually totally dropped. We very often drop a T when it comes between two other consonants. So even if it's not in the same word, even if it's linking two words, and the T ends up between two consonants, we will drop it. So all these words it ends in an ST cluster, last, first, just, be aware that when they come before a word that begins the consonant, we will almost always drop that T. We met last night. Last night. Right from the S into the N. And then we have another stop T here. So the rule for stop T is we usually make a T a stop T when the next word begins with a consonant like here, or at the end of a thought group, like here. So it's not: we met last night. No. We just don't do true T's like that. It's: We met last night? We met last night? And the pitch goes up at the end. Even though it's a statement, he makes the pitch go up and gives it a sort of questioning intonation because he's not sure if she remembers that. And so he's asking it as a question, as if to say do you remember we met last night? Instead, it's just: we met last night? We met last night? We met last night? Yeah. I remember-- The intonation going up shows it's a question asking for confirmation, and she gives her confirmation. Yeah. I remember. Yeah. I remember-- Yeah. I remember-- Yeah. I remember-- Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Lots of pitch change there. Yeah. Yeah. Up-down shape. Yeah. I remember-- I-- she really draws that out longer than you normally would as she's thinking. I remem-- and then we almost don't even hear BER because he's interrupted her and she kind of just drops that syllable. I remem-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- If she does say this syllable, it's very very, quiet. I don't really hear it. >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent- But we do have that up-down shape of stress with the EH vowel on the stressed syllable there. I remem-- I remem-- I remem-- I remember. >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent-- >> I remem-- >> Jack sent me to pick you up and take you to the gig. Now let's listen to his phrase and see what we think these peaks of stress are. Uuuhhh what has that shape? What feels like the most stressed syllables here? Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me-- A little bit of shape on that one. Jack sent me, Jack sent me to pick you up. I would say out of those three stressed syllables, up has that most up-down shape, is the most stressed. Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me to pick you up and take you to the gig. And take you-- a little bit of stress there, to the gig. And more stress there. And take you to the gig. And take you to the gig. And take you to the gig. A gig is a performance. Hey, can you come out tonight? No, sorry. I've got a gig. I'm playing at a bar down the street. We're doing a jazz set. For example, you may have heard the phrase gig economy in the news, talking about economics. This has to do with a shift from being an employee to being a contractor, and working on a gig by gig basis. For example, someone who drives a car for a Lyft or Uber, that would be considered somebody in the gig economy. They're not employees there. They choose what rides they want to pick up when. Gigs are used a lot with musicians as well. I've even heard it used as a verb. Are you gigging tonight? And take you to the gig. And take you to the gig. And take you to the gig. So those are our most stressed words here. Let's go ahead and look at the reductions because we do have some reductions. Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me to pick you up-- Jack sent me-- I'm going to call that a stop T. Sometimes, in NT, we drop the T. Jack sen me, Jack sen me, but I hear it more as: Jack sent me, sent me, Jack sent me. I'm exaggerating the stop there, but I definitely hear that as a stop T. Jack sent me to-- The word 'to' reduces. It's got more of a flap T sound and a schwa. Sent me to-- rararararara-- Jack sent me to-- Jack sent me to-- Jack sent me to-- Pick you up. Pick you up. Stressed, unstressed, stressed. And the word 'you' isn't pronounced you, he changes that vowel to the schwa. Pick yuh up-- And the schwa just links very smoothly into the UH as in butter vowel for up. Pick you up. Pick you up. Pick you up. Jack sent me to pick you up-- Sent me to pick you up-- His lips come together for the P, you can look at that. But he doesn't release them. Pick you up-- pick you up-- Pick you up-- and take you to the gig. They come together but then rather than releasing the air, he goes right into the next word which is and, and he does reduce that, nnnnn, I would write that schwa N. N absorbs the schwa, so it's not un un un, it's just nnnn, and take you-- And take you to the-- And take you to the-- You and to, they both reduce, don't they? These three words are unstressed. You to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- They're flatter in pitch, they're a little bit less clear, so you becomes: yi yi. I don't have to move my jaw at all for that. I don't have to move my lips at all for that. Yih, yih, yih. My tongue is the only thing that moves. You to-- And even as I go into the word 'to' reduced, I don't have to move anything but my tongue. And take you to the-- You to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- I can do all of that, linking smoothly into the unstressed word the, I can do all of that without moving my jaw or lips. You to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- you to the-- It's all just the tongue. So you wouldn't be simplifying your mouth movements as much as possible, so that you can make this string of unstressed words with the reductions as simply as possible, as quick as possible, because that's an important part of the contrast of American English. You to the gig. You to the gig. You to the gig. Gig is the word that has the energy. You to the gig. The T in take is a true T. And it's a true T because it starts a stressed word. If a T starts a stressed syllable, and it's not part of a TR cluster, it will be a true T. If it's part of a TR cluster it might end up sounding like CH, but here, it's not, so it's just: take, take, take. A light true T. Take you to the gig. Take you to the gig. Take you to the gig. Now, I hope you guys are noticing really how smoothly everything links together. And we have reductions that help us do that. We have this continuous sound. Sometimes it's scooping up, sometimes it's falling down, that's the melody, but it never feels separate within one thought group, it always feels connected. So if you're used to speaking with words more separate, this could be a challenge for you. Also most people have a hard time simplifying and making these unstressed words as quickly as they can. Let's just take the word 'and' for example. You know it's not 'and' , you know it's 'an', but a lot of students will go: and, and, and, but actually, it's nnn, it's even faster. As fast as you can possibly make it. And take, and take, and take, and take you to the gig. And take you to the gig. Oh. My god. Oh. My god. Oh. Really clear up-down shape. Oh. My god. God is what's stressed, the word 'my' just falls in on the way up. My god. Oh. My god. Oh. My god. Um-- Um-- Um-- That's the thinking vowel, that UH as in butter sound. We usually do it just as uh or um with an M at the end. Um-- but- But-- but-- but-- Do you notice that stop T? She doesn't say but. She says but, but, abruptly stopping the air. She probably puts her tongue into position for the T, but, and stops the air, but doesn't release. But-- I gotta-- I gotta-- I gotta-- Not very clear, right? So grammatically, this is a combination of these words, 'I have got to', we combined 'got to' into 'gotta', and we dropped 'have'. This is a common way to talk. You would never want to write this, but to say this is okay. I gotta-- I gotta-- I gotta-- I gotta-- I gotta-- I gotta-- The Ts are Flap Ts. The tongue just flaps up against the roof of the mouth. It's certainly not: got to, got to, gotta, gotta, gotta. I would say this is the AW as in law vowel, and then the ending unstressed is the schwa. I gotta-- I gotta-- And the AI diphthong for 'I' links really smoothly into that. I gotta-- I gotta-- no break. So the stress would be on the stress syllable of go-- gotta. I gotta-- I gotta-- I gotta- I gotta work. I gotta work. She repeats herself, it sounds exactly the same. I gotta, again, flap T, I gotta work, and then the voice goes back up for the stressed word, work. I gotta work. And the K of work releases right into the AI diphthong. Work I. Work I. And that's an unstressed word, so it's flatter down here. Work I, work I.