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  • Today I'm going to talk about the difference between can and can't. How to hear it, how

  • to say it. You've probably noticed that you cannot rely on hearing -- tt -- a good T sound

  • because most Americans when they're speaking everyday speech --tt -- don't release final

  • T's. First of all, if you haven't seen the video N'T contractions, watch that first.

  • In that video, you learned that the N'T is pronounced nt. A nasal N sound here in the

  • nose cut very short byt a stop T. So let's compare the two words. Can. Can't. Can, can't.

  • What do you hear being different? Let's not even limit ourselves to just the sounds, but

  • anything. Can, can't. Can you tell that the first word is longer? The stop T of can't

  • chops it, makes it a little more abrupt. Can, can't. This may be something that is difficult

  • for you to distinguish right now. But if you know to listen for can: a little bit longer,

  • a little smoother, versus can't, can't: a little shorter, a little bit more abrupt,

  • it may help you develop an ear for this. A note on the pronunciation of the word can.

  • You've probably noticed that this word often reduces. The 'aa' as in 'bat' vowel is changed

  • to the schwa. Kn, kn, kn, I can do it, kn. The word can't does not reduce. That vowel

  • sound never changes into the schwa sound. So that's another way to help you distinguish

  • between these two words. Let's look at some sentences. I can understand. I can't understand.

  • Could you hear the difference? I can understand. I can't understand. Can, can't, can, can't.

  • The vowel sound is different because in the first sentence it's being reduced to the schwa.

  • And here. Can you help later? I can't. I can. I can't. I can. Do you sense that the first

  • response is a little bit more abrupt? I can't, I can't. And the second one a little bit more

  • relaxed. Can, can, can, a little smoother. That one might have been a little harder because

  • the vowel didn't change. I told her I can't. I told her I can. Again, the vowel is the

  • same in both of them. I told her I can't. I told her I can. But do you notice that the

  • last can, can: a little smoother and a little bit longer. I told her I can't.

  • More abrupt in that first sentence. You can come. You can't come. You can come. You can't

  • come. In the first sentence the word can is reduced so much -- kn, kn, kn, kn -- You can

  • come. It's almost not even there. You can come. You can't come. So the two tricks here

  • are: 1) If the sound is abrupt and chopped, can't, can't, then it's the word can't. And

  • 2) if the vowel sound changes to the schwa, then it's the word can. Kn, kn, I can do it.

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

Today I'm going to talk about the difference between can and can't. How to hear it, how

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A2 US abrupt vowel sound vowel sound told bit longer

How to Pronounce Can vs. Can't -- American English Accent

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    ABbla Chung posted on 2014/05/30
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