B1 Intermediate US 628 Folder Collection
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Today we’re going to analyze everything we hear in conversation in a Ben Franklin Exercise
– everyone’s favorite way to improve listening comprehension
and understand how Americans talk.
This is an excerpt from a lesson in my online school, Rachel’s English Academy.
It is incredible to see how much there is to learn from a few short lines of American English.
First, here's this snippet of conversation.
We need to schedule a time to meet to plan the client presentation.
Yeah. I'm ready.
Now, let’s analyze.
At the end of the video, there will be information on where to find more of these valuable
Ben Franklin exercise videos.
We need to schedule a time to meet to plan the client presentation.
Yeah. I'm ready.
We need to schedule a time--
Need.
The most stressed there, the longest, the clearest.
Also 'time'. We need to schedule a time-
We need to schedule a time-- We need to schedule a time--
The intonation was a little different there. She's going to continue on for the rest of the sentence.
'Schedule', a content word but not quite as stressed as the words 'need' and 'time'.
Schedule-- Schedule-- Schedule--
So, not every content word has the exact same stress within a sentence.
Within a sentence, the speaker is always choosing subconsciously the words to bring out.
So she brings out the word 'need'.
The verb, what has to happen, we need to do this.
And she brings out time
which is on their calendar, the time they're going to block off for this meeting that they're going to have.
Let’s look at the word ‘to’, here, the first occurrence of it.
We need to-- we need to-- we need to schedule a time
Now we know that the word ‘to’ reduces to have the schwa, and the T can either be a true T or a flap T.
Let's listen to what happens here:
We need to-- we need to-- we need to--
So it's not really a flap and it's not really a true T.
Really she's just dropped the T altogether because it sound before is a D.
So the D between vowels is pronounced like a flap
and the T between vowels is pronounced like a flap, the same sound.
So here the D comes between two vowels. I don't think she does quite a flap,
I feel like I hear ddd--- some of that D sound
which is when the tongue is in position for the D but the air is stopped and we get that sound in the throat.
Need—dd—dd—we need to--
We need to-- we need to-- we need to schedule a time
Needa-- so to me, it's more of a D than a flap. But I don't hear a T at all. Needa--
So when the word 'need' is followed by the word 'to',
you can just drop the T and attach a schwa to the end : needa--.
We needa— We needa—
We need to-- we need to-- we need to schedule a time
We need to schedule-- We need to schedule--
The schwa is said so quickly there.
We need to schedule--
We need to schedule-- We need to schedule--
Schedule. Schedule.
Notice the D makes the J sound: --dule, and we have a dark L here: --dule, --dule, --dule, --dule.
Schedule. Schedule. Schedule.
Make that syllable as quickly as you can:
Schedule. Schedule. Schedule a-- Schedule a--
Then link the L into the schwa through the word ‘a’.
Schedule a-- Schedule a—
We need to schedule a—
We need to schedule a— We need to schedule a— We need to schedule a time.
So these things, this linking ending consonant to beginning vowel,
dropping a T and linking it in these little things all help to make the line smooth, smooth, smooth.
We need to schedule a— Ahhhhhh--
There’s no break in the sound, there's no abrupt pitch change.
The pitch is gliding up or gliding down.
We need to schedule a— We need to schedule a—
We need to schedule a— We need to schedule a— We need to schedule a time--
We need to schedule a time—time--, True T there.
The T is always a true T when it starts a stressed syllable.
Time-- time-- time to meet to plan the client presentation
to meet to plan-- to meet to plan--
Okay, two more word ‘to’, and this time they're both made with the true T and the schwa.
Meet to-- and time to--, time to meet to-- time to meet to--
time to meet to-- time to meet to-- time to meet to--
So the T will always be a true T when it follows the T.
And actually again you can think of it as being dropped because there's really just one T sound.
Meet to-- Meet to-- Meet to--
So just put a schwa sound at the end of the word 'meet'. Meet to--
Time to-- Now, this could've been a Flap T. Time to-- Time to--
But she made a True T: Time to-- Time to--
As long as the vowel is reduced and the word is said quickly, it sounds right.
Both of flap T and a true T sound good and sound right.
Time to meet to-- time to meet to-- time to meet to plan the client presentation
To plan the client presentation--
Okay, so cli-- client presentaaaa- tion.
The stressed syllable is a little clearer a little longer.
The pitch is gliding up and gliding down. no abrupt change in pitch.
To plan the client presentation-- To plan the client presentation--
To plan the client presentation--
So 'plan', again a content word, but it's not quite as long as 'client' and 'taaayy--'
Those two syllable to me are a little bit clearer a little bit more stressed.
Plan-- plan-- plan the client presentation
Plan-- plan--. This is one of the tough cases where we have the AH vowel followed by a nasal consonant.
Plaaaaan
So you want to go through an AH vowel.
You relax the back of the tongue before making the N and that gives us this UH vowel
or you could think of it as a schwa before the end.
Plaaan. Plan. We don't want plan.
Plan. That's too bright. It's too much in the face.
Plan. Allows the placement to be a little lower.
Meet to plan-- meet to plan the-- plan the--plan the-- plan the--
client presentation.
plan the-- plan the-- plan the client presentation
-tion ending, pronounced 'shun' here.
Make it fast. Don't try to put an actual vowel sound in there.
Remember the N takes over the schwa, it's a syllabic consonant.
That means there doesn't have to be a vowel sound in that syllable.
-tion -tion -tion. Presentation.
Presentation.
Presentation. Presentation. Presentation.
zun-- zun-- zun-- There's another case here.
Z, schwa, N. Presen-- zun-- zun-- zun--
Where you don't need to try to make a vowel sound in that syllable. Zun-- zun--
Straight from Z to N, presentation, presentation.
Presentation, presentation, presentation.
And remember it's all smooth: uuuhhhh.
No breaks between syllables and no abrupt pitch changes.
Pitch either slides up or slides down, it doesn't jump.
Presentation. We need to schedule a time to meet to plan the client presentation.
Yeah. I'm ready.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Quick but also a clear up-down shape of stress: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm ready.
I'm ready. I'm ready.
M connecting right into the R, there's no break: mmrrr-- mmrr--
I'm ready. Uuhhhh uuhhh--
So even though it's a sentence with two different words, it's still very smooth, there's no abrupt pitch changes.
And all the sounds glide into each other, connected speech.
I'm ready. Yeah. I'm ready.
'Ready' has a flap T sound. Flap rr-- rr-- rr--
Ready-- Ready-- It's not read-- dd-- dd-- with that real D sound in the throat
It's ready. rr-- rr-- rr--
Because the D comes between two vowels, flap the tongue.
Ready. Ready. I'm ready.
Let's listen to the whole dialogue one more time.
We need to schedule a time to meet to plan the client presentation.
Yeah. I'm ready.
So much analysis for so little conversation.
But when we pick it apart like that, we discover all of the habits of American pronunciation.
How wonderful.
This is part of a larger lesson in my online school.
Each month there are three Ben Franklin analysis videos added,
anywhere from 20 minutes to 35 minutes long.
They come with lessons that will point out the phrasal verbs, idioms, and interesting vocabulary
that comes up in conversation.
This is in addition to all the other lessons in the school.
My students love it, they love all the conversation analysis.
If you’re interested, please join there.
Visit RachelsEnglishAcademy.com for more information.
To see all of my Ben Franklin videos here on YouTube, click here or in the description below.
That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English!
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Rachel's English

628 Folder Collection
科克库都克 published on October 16, 2017
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