Basic AU 410 Folder Collection
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Well hey there! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish
and in this lesson I'm going to share ten words
that you can start using right now
to sound more natural when you speak English.
So which are these ten magic words
that I'm talking about?
These ones!
Interestingly, these words have a few things in common.
So firstly, they are very, very, very, common.
In fact, these are some of the most
common English words.
They're all in the top twenty words
that are used in English.
So for that reason alone,
this lesson is worth paying attention to.
But before we go on, I want to make sure that you've
subscribed to mmmEnglish
and you've turned on the notifications so that you know
whenever there's a new lesson ready for you.
So just hit that red button down there!
But keep watching to learn how to say these words
naturally and at the end of this lesson,
you'll get to practise with me!
So most of these words are used
for grammatical reasons in English sentences.
On their own, they don't hold a lot of meaning.
They're not nouns or verbs or adjectives
which are the words that help us to understand
what is happening in a sentence or how it's happening
in a sentence.
So these words are structure words not content words.
The exception though is the 'be' verb here.
It's the only verb that we've got but it's the exception.
The other thing that these words have in common
is that they all have stressed and unstressed forms
when they're spoken.
And this is exactly
what we're going to go over in this lesson.
Because using the unstressed forms of these words
when you speak English will help you to sound
more natural.
So let's start with 'the'.
So this word is not usually stressed,
so you don't hear it pronounced like 'the' very often.
You'll hear a shorter version
and also you'll hear
So we have two unstressed forms because
the pronunciation of this word changes
depending on the word that follows it.
So if the word 'the' is followed by a consonant sound,
then it's pronounced 'the' - the lazy schwa sound.
Can I use the bathroom?
Tell the children to stay inside.
Now if the word 'the' is followed by a vowel sound
then it's pronounced
which is much like
but just a shorter version of it.
I'll take you to the airport.
She forgot to buy the ice cream.
The verb 'be' is the second
most commonly used word in English
but of course, it has several forms doesn't it?
Depending on the subject and the tense.
So you won't often hear 'be' stressed
in an English sentence.
When it's the main verb in the infinitive form,
you'll usually hear just a slightly shorter version.
I'll be home soon.
Now in the present tenses you'll hear 'am', 'is' and 'are'
and these forms are usually pushed together
when spoken naturally with the subject
so it forms a contraction.
'I am' 'becomes I'm.
'You are', you're.
'He', 'she', 'it is',
he's, she's, it's.
'We are' becomes we're
and 'they are' becomes they're.
So when spoken, these contractions mean
that we hardly hear the 'be' verb at all.
The pronunciation of the past tense forms
are also usually reduced.
So 'was' becomes
He was upstairs earlier.
And 'were' becomes
They were too tired.
Now in past participle form,
the vowel sound is often shortened to
instead of
it's been.
We've been there too.
Moving on to the word 'to'.
Now 'to' is the stressed form but when spoken,
the word is usually unstressed.
Just like I said, moving on to the word 'to'.
Moving on to the word 'to'.
It's quarter to two.
Now 'of' is another incredibly common English word,
usually unstressed so it sounds like
not
with the lazy schwa sound again.
Would you like a cup of tea?
I'll take a picture of you.
Now of course, 'and'
must make our list of commonly used words, right?
And just like the previous words, it's often unstressed
when spoken.
'And' becomes
or
You and me.
Come and visit me!
We need some milk and apples.
Now this tiny little word 'at'
can be stressed or unstressed.
You need to be here at three o'clock.
So by stressing 'at'
I'm adding emphasis. I'm making the meaning stronger.
You need to be here exactly at three o'clock
not before, not after, at three.
So most of the time though, this word won't be stressed.
And the sound reduces to
I'll meet you at the car.
Pick her up at eight.
Just like 'at', 'that' can be stressed or unstressed.
So this word can be used as a determiner
to explain which specific thing we're talking about.
So in this situation,
you'll probably need to stress this word
so that it's really clear.
Not this one, that one!
And as an adverb it will probably also be stressed.
I'm not that hungry.
But when 'that' is used as a conjunction
so when it's connecting two clauses in a sentence,
it's unstressed and the vowel sound reduces.
It becomes
I told her that I'd be here.
So let's talk about the articles 'are' and 'an'
because they are both usually unstressed.
Now they're used with singular nouns, aren't they?
When you're talking about just one of something.
So since we stress English words to make the meaning
really clear, it's much more natural to stress the number
rather than stress the article
because the important information
is that there is just one of something.
So it sounds a bit odd to hear:
No! I said I only wanted a sandwich!
It's much more natural to hear:
No! I said I only wanted one sandwich!
So since most of the time, these articles are unstressed
the vowel sound reduces to become the schwa sound.
I'm only staying for a day.
Can you pass me an apple?
Now very often the word 'it' is reduced too.
So instead of 'it'
the vowel sound relaxes and it becomes
the schwa sound
and when spoken quickly, the T is often
not fully pronounced either.
The air is not released after the sound, so instead of
the air is caught
and then you move quickly to the next sound.
So listen up!
It doesn't matter.
I must have lost it.
Now notice how the word 'it'
is pulled into the word before it
because it ends with a consonant.
Lost it.
Get it out of the car.
And 'as', this little word can be a conjunction,
so it can connect two parts of a sentence together.
It can be a preposition, even an adverb.
So it can be stressed.
He wasn't as late as I thought.
But it's often unstressed.
Again, using the schwa for the unstressed sound.
He works as a doctor.
It wasn't as big as I thought.
Last but not least, another small
but mighty English word 'for'.
Now when I pronounce this word, I don't pronounce
the final
sound and that's my Australian accent
which is the same
as the British pronunciation of this word,
'for'.
So the standard American accent
pronounces the R at the end.
That's my really rubbish American accent!
But whether or not you pronounce the R sound
there is a different vowel sound
when this word is stressed
and unstressed.
And this word is usually unstressed.
Just like all of the other
examples that have come before,
the vowel sound reduces down to become
the schwa sound.
He needs it for work.
Can you get it for me?
So you've probably noticed that the schwa sound
is a very, very, important sound
for unstressed words, right?
And that's because this is the most common sound
in English.
So as you're using all of these small but grammatically
important words in your English sentences,
then start reducing the sounds of them.
This is going to help you to sound more natural
when you speak English.
Words that are important
to help someone understand your sentence
should be stressed
and these words are usually adjectives, verbs, nouns
- that kind of thing.
But other words in your sentence can be unstressed
and the sound reduces,
they become difficult to hear.
Okay,
so before we finish I want to practise with you a little.
I'm going to put a sentence up here so when you see it,
say it out loud
and try to reduce the unstressed words.
I'll be there on the first.
A bottle of water.
It's for a friend of mine.
It's a piece of cake.
Well, that's it for this lesson!
You know that I make new lessons every week,
don't you?
So make sure you subscribe to my channel.
Make sure that you don't miss any of my future lessons.
You just need to click that little red button down there!
And if you want to keep practising with me right now,
then check out these lessons right here!
In fact, that one is great for improving
your pronunciation and your natural English expression
so try that one out.
Thanks for watching and I'll see you next week.
Bye for now!
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10 Common Words To Sound Natural! English Pronunciation Lesson

410 Folder Collection
蔡天羽 published on August 2, 2018
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