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  • In this American English pronunciation video, you'll come with me to the Union Square farmer's market.

  • Today I spent some time at the farmer's market where I did things like buy these beautiful

  • flowers. The words 'farmer' and 'market' both have the 'ah' as in 'father' vowel followed

  • by the R consonant. I've noticed that this combination can be problematic for my students.

  • It's important to remember to make a good 'ah' vowel before moving into the R consonant.

  • A lot of people want to rush this, and the two sounds end up getting combined to something

  • like far-, far-, instead of fah-rr, fah-rr. So, it is true with this combination that

  • your tongue will probably start moving back into the R as soon as you start the AH vowel.

  • But it's important to start the AH vowel with the tongue tip forward. Far, far. And make

  • sure you have enough jaw drop to get the good AH vowel. When in doubt, always practice slowly.

  • Ah-rr, farmer's market. Farmer's market.

  • The farmer's market at Union Square has some interesting things, like hand-dyed yarn, seafood,

  • beautiful flowers, and sometimes, if you're lucky, free samples.

  • >> Spicy. >> Is it?

  • Did you hear how the intonation went up at the end. Is it? This is true of questions

  • that can be answered with yes or no. In general, other questions will go down in pitch at the

  • end. For example, what does it taste like? Taste like? like? it? like? Listen again.

  • >> Is it? [3x] >> Too spicy or just right?

  • Here the question will be answered with either 'too spicy' or 'just right'. So, not a yes/no

  • question. Therefore, the sentence goes down in pitch at the end. Just right. Right, right.

  • Listen again.

  • >> Too spicy, or just right [3x] >> Perfect.

  • There's also a local vendor who brings lots of honey, and, with that, bees. After putting

  • honey and bees on my finger, the beekeeper told me the only way to get them off is with

  • a good shake.

  • The farmer's market also has lots of great baked goods, like these cider donuts.

  • >> Apple cider donuts. >> Oh, yum!

  • >> Can I have some? Can I have some? Again, a yes/no question,

  • so the pitch went up at the end. Some? Some? Also, did you notice how I reduced the word

  • 'can' to 'kn'. We do this when it is a helping verb in a sentence. That is, not the main

  • verb. Can I have some? Listen again.

  • >> Can I have some? [3x] >> Yeah.

  • >> Oh wow. It's soft. That is good.

  • >> Now hold up your apple. >> This is my honey crisp apple.

  • The word 'apple' is a great word to pick out and study for pronunciation, because many

  • people have difficulty with the Dark L sound. It's quite common to hear non-native speakers

  • substitute the OH diphthong for the dark L. So we end up getting a sound like 'app-oh'

  • instead of 'apple'. App-oh, apple. So what's the difference? When we substitute the OH

  • diphthong, you can see that the lips will round. App-oh. This means that the sound is

  • being formed here at the front of the mouth. But for the dark L, apple, ul, ul, the sound

  • vibrates here in the back of the mouth, and even the throat. Ul, ul, oh, oh, ul, ul. So,

  • how do you make the dark L? Ul, ul. To make this, the tongue shifts back a little bit

  • in the back, so the tension is in the back of the mouth, back of the tongue. Ul, that's

  • what brings the vibration here. Ul, ul, apple, ul, ul, rather than app-oh, oh, oh. Apple,

  • apple. There are lots of words that end with this dark L in an unstressed syllable, like

  • 'bottle', 'incredible'. So, it's really worth getting the sound right. Ul, ul.

  • Grape. The 'ay' diphthong is another sound that my students sometimes have problems with.

  • Ay, ay. We have to hear two distinctly different vowel sounds, so for the first sound, the

  • jaw has to drop quite a bit, and that's the part that my students generally miss. Ay,

  • ay. For the second half of the diphthong, the tongue tip still stays down here, behind

  • the bottom front teeth, but the front part of the tongue stretches up towards the roof

  • of the mouth. That's what brings the jaw up. Ay, ay, grape.

  • So, if you ever find yourself in the New York area, I do recommend hitting up the farmer's

  • market in Union Square.

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

In this American English pronunciation video, you'll come with me to the Union Square farmer's market.

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B1 farmer market farmer apple vowel market tongue

Rachel's English at the Farmer's Market! - American Pronunciation

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    浦瞿津 posted on 2016/01/31
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