Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to study American English by looking

  • at a short text. Topic: evening plans.

  • I call this a Ben Franklin exercise. This is when you take very good notes, very detailed

  • notes, on what you're hearing. And then go back and try to record yourself based on what

  • you've written down, the notes. Did you write down a Flap T, or the way two words link together?

  • After you've recorded yourself, compare it to the original. Did you do everything that

  • you wanted to do? In this video, we're going to take notes together.

  • Tonight I'm meeting up with some friends in the West Village for pizza. We may stay in

  • the West Village afterwards, or we may hop on our bikes and go up to UCB for a comedy

  • show.

  • One of the first things that I notice is that I've made this a Stop T instead of a Flap T.

  • >> Tonight I'm meeting up with some friends >> Tonight [3x]

  • Often, when the T comes between vowels or diphthongs, in this case we have the AI as

  • in BUY diphthong for 'tonight', and the AI as in BUY diphthong for 'I', we would make

  • that a Flap T to connect. But I made this a stop T, so there was a little break in the

  • line. Tonight I'm meeting, tonight, tonight.

  • >> Tonight I'm meeting up with some friends >> Tonight [3x]

  • I also notice that I've made this O a schwa: to-, to-, to-, tonight. This T, on the other

  • hand, was a Flap T, meeting up, meeting up. I did not release the P here, so that's a

  • stop consonant. Up, Up. My lips came together to make the P. But rather than releasing them,

  • up, I went right into the next word, with. Meeting up with some friends. I'm noticing,

  • sort of to my surprise, that I also dropped the TH. With some friends, with some friends.

  • >> ...up with some friends [3x]

  • So, I took this function word, which will not be stressed (it is less important in the

  • sentence), and I dropped the final sound. With some, with some, with some, with some

  • friends in the West Village for pizza. It's very obvious to me there what the most stressed

  • words are.

  • >> In the West Village for pizza. [3x]

  • Let's start with the first four words: in the West Village. 'In the' was very quick.

  • In the [6x]. 'West' and 'Village' both had more time. West, Village. In the West Village.

  • So even though 'in the' is two words, it was probably faster than the single word 'West'.

  • In the West, in the West Village.

  • >> In the West Village. [3x]

  • And the final two words, 'for pizza'. For pizza. I definitely hear the first syllable

  • of 'pizza' as being stressed. The word 'for' was reduced, it had the schwa, for [4x], for

  • pizza, for pizza.

  • >> ...for pizza. [3x] >> In the West Village for pizza.

  • We may stay in the West Village afterwards: which syllable was the most stressed?

  • >> We may stay in the West Village afterwards [3x]

  • I definitely heard 'stay' as being the most stressed. That's our verb. That's a content

  • word, which will usually be stressed in a sentence. Again 'in the' was very quick. 'West'

  • and 'Village' were both stressed, as was 'afterwards', but they had less curve to the voice. They

  • were less stressed to me than the word 'stay', which was louder. We may stay in the West

  • Village afterwards. I notice that I did not reduce the word 'or'. That's one word that

  • can reduce to 'er': or we may. But here I said 'or we may, or we may'. I did not reduce

  • the vowel.

  • >> Or we may hop on our bikes [3x]

  • We may hop on our bikes. What do you think is the loudest, most stressed word in that

  • sentence fragment?

  • >> We may hop on our bikes [3x]

  • I hear 'hop', again, the verb.

  • >> We may hop on our bikes and go up to UCB.

  • And go up to UCB. I definitely reduced the word 'and' here,

  • by dropping the D, and go up to UCB.

  • >> And go up [3x].

  • Again here, the word 'up': I did not release the P sound, I made that a stop. Up to, up

  • to. Again, a reduction I did not do. The word 'to' usually has the schwa sound in it. And

  • instead, I left in the vowel 'oo'. To, to. I usually reduce the word 'to' in conversation.

  • To [3x]. I did not do it here because I was talking into the camera, and I've noticed

  • that I do use fewer reductions when I'm recording than I do in normal conversation.

  • >> to UCB for a comedy show. [3x]

  • For a comedy show. I most definitely reduced this vowel to the schwa. For [3x], for a,

  • for a. So I also connected that word, very much so, to the article 'a', which is also

  • pronounced as the schwa. For a [4x]. For a comedy show.

  • >> for a [3x] comedy show. For a comedy show.

  • Let's test your listening skills for stress. The word 'comedy' is a three-syllable word.

  • Which did you hear as being the most stressed?

  • >> comedy [3x]

  • It's the first syllable. So, the last two syllables are lower in pitch and flatter,

  • also maybe a little quieter than the stressed syllable. -medy [4x], co - medy [2x]. Comedy

  • show.

  • I hope this has given you some ideas on how to take notes and study the speech of native

  • speakers. Do this on your own. Take video and audio clips that interest you, or that

  • have topics that are important to your field of work. After you take good notes, record

  • the text yourself and compare to the original recording. What do you still need to work

  • on, or what did you do well? This is a great way to improve your pronunciation.

  • Just a few lines of text, but there's a lot to study about pronunciation. These were my

  • plans for tonight. What are you plans tonight? Let me know by making a video and posting

  • it as a video response to this video on YouTube. I can't wait to hear about your plans.

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

In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to study American English by looking

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 village west stressed pizza comedy hop

Pronunciation Study Exercise: Evening Plans - American English

  • 507 82
    張鴻 posted on 2013/09/16
Video vocabulary