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  • Right now, I'm at Lake Michigan on vacation.

  • Well, not right now, my right now but your right now as you see this.

  • In fact, I'm so busy relaxing that I couldn't make a video this week but I thought ahead

  • and I created a mashup 2 videos from past vacations where I teach English to you with

  • my friends and family in beautiful Michigan on vacation.

  • So won't you please come on vacation with me and study English pronunciation, conversation

  • and vocabulary.

  • This is my uncle Frank!

  • >> Hey!

  • Uncle Frank brings his boat every year so that we can try skiing.

  • Did you notice the reductions of the wordthatandcan”?

  • These two function words will often reduce.

  • Thatbecomes thut, with either a flap or a stop T, depending on the next sound.

  • Andcan”, when not the main verb in the sentence, becomes kn, kn.

  • So that we can.

  • So that we can.

  • So that we can try skiing.

  • Tryandskiing”, the two content words in this sentence, are clearly much longer

  • thanso that we can”.

  • These four function words are low in pitch and very fast.

  • Listen again.

  • So that we can try skiing.

  • Sure appreciate that uncle Frank.

  • >> Well, I'm glad to bring it.

  • Glad to bring it.

  • Here, Frank reduced the word 'to' to the flap T and the schwa sound: de, de, de, glad

  • de, Glad to bring it.

  • Listen again.

  • >> Well, I'm glad to bring it.

  • This boat is 17 years old, and I was beginning to wonder earlier in the week if I was going

  • to bring it back again.

  • Here Frank reduced the phrasegoing totogonna”.

  • A very common reduction in American English.

  • If I was going to bring it back, gonna, gonna.

  • If I was going to bring it back.

  • Listen again.

  • >> I was beginning to wonder earlier in the week

  • if I was going to bring it back again,

  • but it seems like people are still kind of interested in skiing, so.

  • >> We love it.

  • Love it.

  • Did you hear how I connected the V sound to the word it?

  • One of the easiest ways to link in American English pronunciation, is the case when one

  • word ends in a consonant and the next word begins with a vowel or diphthong.

  • You can practice the connection between words by putting the ending consonant on the next

  • word: vit, vit, vit, love it, love it, love it.

  • This will help to eliminate gaps between words.

  • In American English, we want to link all the words in one thought group.

  • Listen again.

  • >> We love it.

  • >> We'll see if it'll go a couple more years.

  • >> Yep.

  • I hope it does.

  • >> So Jace, you going to go skiing today?

  • Another 'gonna'.

  • >> You going to go skiing today?

  • >> Yeah, I am.

  • >> Have you been before?

  • >> No.

  • >> This is the first year.

  • >> Yup.

  • >> Are you nervous?

  • >> Mmm, a little.

  • Yeah.

  • >> It might take a couple tries, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen right

  • away.

  • Right away.

  • Did you notice how I linked the ending T of 'right' to the beginning vowel sound of

  • 'away'.

  • This means that the T comes between two vowels, so it becomes a flap T, or, a D sound.

  • So, 'right away' sounds just like 'ride away'.

  • Listen again.

  • >> If it doesn't happen right away.

  • >> Ok, ok, ok.

  • Ok.

  • >> Meg, are you going to try skiing?

  • Another 'gonna'.

  • Also notice, I've reduced the word 'are' to er, er, er.

  • Listen again.

  • >> Meg, are you going to try skiing?

  • >> I don't think so.

  • I tried it when I was ten, and I was traumatized because I fell, and it hurt.

  • >> Oh, yeah.

  • >> So, I think I'm just going to stick to a bystander.

  • >> Haley, have you skied before?

  • >> I've done sit skiing before, when I was, like, six.

  • >> Wait, yeah, what is that?

  • What is.

  • Just like withright away”, we're connecting the ending T inwhatto the beginning

  • vowel of the wordis”.

  • So the T turns into a flap T, or D sound.

  • What is, what is.

  • Listen again.

  • >> What is that?

  • >> It's got the skis

  • >> Yeah?

  • >> And there's a chair in the middle and you just sit.

  • >> Really?

  • >> Yeah.

  • >> I've never even heard of that.

  • Heard of.

  • Another linking consonant to vowel heard of, heard of.

  • Notice that I am reducing the wordofto the schwa-V sound: uv, uv, duv, duv, heard of.

  • >> I've never even heard of that.

  • >> I haven't either.

  • >> I've done it.

  • Done it.

  • Another great example of linking ending consonant to beginning vowel.

  • Done it, done it.

  • >> I've done it.

  • So, I'm nervous to do this.

  • >> I think you'll be just fine.

  • >> I think so too.

  • I'm ready.

  • Here, Haley reduced the contraction “I'm”, to simply the M consonant.

  • I'm ready.

  • Of course, with that reduction, she linked it to the next word, mmready.

  • Listen again.

  • >> I'm ready.

  • This is my cousin Brooke.

  • >> Brooke, how are you enjoying your vacation?

  • >> I'm having a great time on my vacation.

  • It's a lot of fun.

  • >> What's the highlight of your vacation so far?

  • >> I think the highlight of vacation so far is spending time with you, Rachel.

  • >> Oh.

  • That's so sweet.

  • >> Ani, did you make that necklace?

  • >> Yeah.

  • >> Can you hold it up for me?

  • Another reduction of 'can': kn, can you, can you.

  • >> Can you hold it up for me?

  • >> This?

  • >> Yeah.

  • It's really pretty.

  • It's really pretty.

  • A reduction of 'it's' to the TS sound.

  • It's really, it's really.

  • >> It's really pretty.

  • >> Where'd you make that?

  • >> At the craft shop.

  • >> The craft shop?

  • Let me see?

  • Have you ever heard someone saylemme”?

  • I've dropped the T in 'let', and connected it to 'me'.

  • Let me, let me, let me see that.

  • >> Let me see?

  • >> What's it say?

  • >> Giggle.

  • Giggle.

  • >> Giggle?

  • Oh, it does say giggle.

  • That's a hard word.

  • It has those gg sounds, and a dark L. Giggle.

  • >> Hey Brad.

  • >> What are you doing?

  • Doing some advertising?

  • >> We're doing a little advertising, yeah.

  • >> Hey, Rach, I love that shirt.

  • Where did you get that?

  • >> Well, I made it.

  • Made it.

  • Linking ending consonant to beginning vowel.

  • Made it.

  • >> Well, I made it.

  • >> Oh, now, what is this?

  • >> It says 'I love English' in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

  • >> Oh my gosh, that's so great.

  • Where can I get one?

  • >> Actually, you can get one right here.

  • >> RachelsEnglish.com!

  • >> Yeah, do you want to be on my website, Brad?

  • Wanna.

  • Here, I use thewannareduction forwant to”.

  • Do you wanna.

  • >> Yeah, do you want to be on my website, Brad?

  • >> Kinda.

  • Kinda.

  • Here, Brad reducedkind ofto kinda.

  • So the wordofis pronounced with just the schwa, no consonant sound.

  • Kinda.

  • >> Kinda.

  • >> Ok!

  • This is my cousin Brad.

  • >> Hi!

  • >> Brad, B-R-A-D, it has the aa as in bat vowel.

  • And remember, cousin: spelled with an S, pronounced, zz, like a Z.

  • Now, it's game time.

  • Here, we'll all tell the score keeper if we made our bet or not.

  • Made it.

  • Listen for how we all link those two words together, made it, no gap.

  • >> K, who made it?

  • >> I made it.

  • >> Roberta.

  • >> I made it.

  • >> Rachel.

  • >> I made it.

  • (>> You can cut me out)

  • >> Made it.

  • >> Made it.

  • >> Yes, I also made it.

  • >> Uncle Dale, did you make that fire?

  • >> I helped with it, yeah.

  • >> It's a nice-looking fire.

  • >> Well thanks.

  • >> Hey everybody, this is my uncle Dale.

  • He lives in Texas.

  • >> Houston, Texas.

  • I hope that even with just these few snippets of conversation, you've learned a bit about

  • linking consonant to vowel and reductions.

  • They're an important part to the smoothness and the rhythm of American English.

  • And as you can see, they're used all the time in conversation.

  • Special thanks to my family for letting me video tape our vacation, and if you didn't

  • get enough, don't worry.

  • We're all getting together again at Christmas.

  • Every year, my extended family gets together for a week to play, swim, and have fun together.

  • First, let's head to the beach.

  • Hey Ri!

  • You enjoying the beach?

  • Yeah.

  • Except for you got a face full of water?

  • Yeah!

  • Except for you got.

  • Let's talk about the phrase 'except for', it's pretty common.

  • The T comes between two consonant sounds, and in that case, natives often drop the T

  • sound.

  • I did.

  • Except forJust the P then the F, excep'for.

  • Also, notice that I reduced the word 'for'.

  • Fer, fer.

  • Except forExcept for you got.

  • Listen again.

  • Except for you got--

  • – a face full of water?

  • Yeah!

  • What happened?

  • Tell me about it.

  • It got bigger.

  • Well, it got my no [nose!], that I, I start

  • choking.

  • Oh no!

  • She started choking!

  • So glad she's alright.

  • Well this is the perfect day for him.

  • Overcast and warm.

  • How did my mom pronounce the wordand”?

  • She reduced it to 'n'.

  • Just the N sound.

  • Listen again.

  • Well this is the perfect day for him.

  • Overcast and warm.

  • This is how it's normally pronounced, unless you want to stress the word 'and'.

  • Here, my cousin stresses it:

  • What about standing up like Gigi?

  • Check this out: she can pull hair and stand up at the same time.

  • She can pull hair and stand up at the same time.

  • And”, fully pronounced.

  • Pull hair and stand up

  • Most of the time, you'll want to reduce this, nn, just like my mom.

  • Overcast and

  • Can you wave, Gina?

  • Hi!

  • Can you wave?

  • We reduce 'can' when it's a helping verb, that is, not the