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  • In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to study the pronunciation of

  • the phrase: Are you sure?

  • This is part of a sentence study series, where we look at a short, common phrase, and discuss

  • its pronunciationFirst let's look at this phrase up close and in slow motion.

  • First let's talk about the stress. It's a three-syllable phrase with stress on the last

  • syllable: are you sure? da-da-DA, da-da-DA. We want the first two syllables to be really

  • short to contrast with the last, longer syllable. da-da-DA, are you sure?

  • The word 'are' can reduce to just the R sound. rr, rr, rr-you sure, rr-you sure? The lips

  • will probably flare out a little, but not too much because we're not starting a stressed

  • syllable, and it will be really quick. The tongue is pulled back and up, and the middle

  • part might be touching the roof of the mouth or the inside of your teeth here, rr, rr,

  • but the tip isn't touching anything. To transition into the Y sound, my tongue comes back down

  • and forward. The tip will touch here, behind the bottom front teeth, and the front/middle

  • part will touch here, the roof of the mouth, a little further forward than it was for the

  • R. Rr-yy, rr-yy. While the tongue is at the roof of the mouth for the Y, my throat is

  • making this sound. Yy, yy. My jaw really doesn't need to move much between these two sounds,

  • rr-yy [3x]. Now we have the schwa, because I'm reducing the OO as in BOO vowel. It would

  • still sound very natural with an OO vowel, as long as you can make it really fast. Just

  • like 'are', are you, are you, are you. They're both very fast. Are you sure? Are you sure?

  • Are you [3x].

  • Now we have the stressed word, 'sure'. It begins with the SH consonant sound. The tongue

  • was down for the schwa, so we want to lift it to the roof of the mouth. The front part

  • of the tongue will be very close to the roof of the mouth, but not yet touching, sh, sh.

  • The teeth are closed and the lips will flare, sure, sure. Then we have the UR has in HER

  • vowel and R consonant sound. The tongue will pull back and up just like it was for the

  • word ARE. So the tongue is back for ARE, rr, then comes forward for the Y and SH sounds,

  • and then back again for the R. Are you sure? Notice the voice goes up in pitch at the end.

  • Are you suuure? That's because it's a yes/no question, and these questions usually go up

  • in pitch at the end. Are you sure? Are you sure?

  • Let's watch one more time in slow motion.

  • This video is part of a series. Click here to see other videos just like itIf you have a

  • phrase you'd like to suggest for this series, please put it in the comments.

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

In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to study the pronunciation of

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