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  • 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.