How to master connected speech

6/9 post of the series “The 9 basic pillars to speak English well

 
When speaking in English there is a LOT of linking between words.
It’s something that it’s maybe not common in your native language but if you want to reduce your accent and improve your English rhythm you have to link words whenever needed.

Listen carefully to a native English speaker.
They don’t speak like this…
“I   like   it    a    lot”. (word, pause, word, pause, word, pause)

It’s something more like this…
I likita lot. (there are some words that are linked or blended)

Let’s see how you can master connected speech and move your English speaking to the next level!

 

How to master connected speech

 
I’m going to show you the four basic link groups…

Linking Consonant To Vowel

Whenever a word ends with a consonant sound and the next word starts with a vowel you have to link them and pronounce them as a word.

  • You have to stop it right now. –> You have to stopit right now.
  • I love it very much. –> I lovit very much.
  • Wake up right now! –> Wakup right now!
  • Some of them live abroad. –> Somof them livabroad.
  • I’m going to explain it in the meeting. –> I’m going to explainitin the meeting.
  • We worked on it all day long. –> We workonitall day long
  • Can I have a cup of tea? –> Cani hava cupof tea?

 

Linking Consonant To Consonant

Whenever a word ends with a consonant and the next word starts with the same consonant you have to link them and only pronounce the consonant once.

  • She’s wearing a red dress. –> She’s wearing a redress.
  • It was the last time I saw him. –> It was the lastime I saw him.
  • You look cool today! –> You lookool today!
  • My university has a book club. –> My university has a booklub.
  • I Went to Paris many times in the past. –> I Wento Paris many times in the past.
  • What time is it? –> Whatime is it?

 

Linking Vowel To Vowel

Whenever a word ends with a vowel and the next word start with a vowel you have to link them by adding a /y/ or a /w/.
We add a sound to make the connection with two words easier and more natural…

  • It’s the end. –> It’s the_y_end.
  • Do it right now! –> Do_w_it right now!
  • Stop talking or go out. –> Stop talking or go_w_out.
  • Who is it? –> Who_w_is it
  • Don’t go away because I need you. –> Don’t go_w_away because I need you.
  • It’s too early to go out.–> It’s too_w_early to go_w_out.
  • I am very happy. –> I_y_am very happy.

It’s easy to know if you have to use a /y/ or a /w/ because when you try to add it, one of them fells natural while the other sounds awful, unnatural.

 

Linking Between Words

There’s even linking between words when there are two vowels side by side.

  • reunion  –>  re_y_union
  • client  –>  cli_y_ent
  • diet  –>  di_y_et
  • cooperate  –>  co_w_operate
  • graduate  –>  gradu_w_ate
  • coersion  –>  co_w_ersion
  • fluent  –>  flu_w_ent
  • evaluate  –>  evalu_w_ate
  • quiet  –>  qui_y_et

 

Master Connected Speech By Using It

At first it’s not easy to use connected speech. You have to think about it and force yourself to link words whenever needed.

Start by using easy sentences and repeat them as much as possible. If you keep doing it it’s going to be easier and easier for you. At the end you are going to connect speech naturally even without thinking about it.

Whenever you listen to English materials, try to feel how speakers link words together.

 

And Remember…

How to master connected speech_
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

 

What to do next…

The 9 basic pillars to speak English well
– How to master English pronunciation … Coming soon!
– How to master word stress … Coming soon!
– How to master sentence stress … Coming soon!
– How to master the Schwa sound … Coming soon!
How to master English intonation
How to master English contractions
– How to master thought groups … Coming soon!
– How to master Word ending pronunciation

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The 9 basic pillars to speak English well

Introductory post of the series “The 9 basic pillars to speak English well”.

 
I want to tell you something personal…

I have a friend from the US and we send each other emails on a regular basis.
Some time ago, we decided to exchange a voice recording. I first sent him my voice file and when he answered me back, I was stunned!!!

He first apologized because he wasn’t able to understand my English!!!

How was it possible that a native English couldn’t understand my very basic English,  spoken really slowly?

That’s when I decided that I needed to answer the next question:
What make the difference between good and bad English speaking?

After some research I want to share with you what I think are the 9 basic pillars that make the difference if you to speak English well.

 
The 9 pillars to speak English well
 

Important Notes:

  1. This post is the first one of a series. The blueprint you have to keep in mind if you want to speak English well.
  2. Next I’m going to write 9 posts about how to master every one of these pillars.

Let’s check the 9 ingredients that make English to “sound English”…

1. Pronunciation

The most common mistake between English learners is trying to pronounce English words the way you pronounce them in your own language. As you already know it doesn’t work like that.
Moreover, English pronunciation is not easy at all because with the 26 letters of the English alphabet you can produce more than 44 different sounds.

That means that:

  •  You can forget about “one letter = one sound”. 🙁
  • You can’t guess the pronunciation of a word by its spelling.   🙁

 

2. Syllable Stress

To speak English well you have to stress words correctly. Every word has one and only one syllable stressed. It’s just about stressing in the right place in every word.

If you stress words correctly you are more likely to be understood and to avoid misunderstandings.

 

3. Word Stress

In every sentence you have to know what words to stress and what words not to stress.

As a rule of thumb…

  1. You stress important words, the ones that convey the meaning of the sentence or the ones you want to emphasize.
  2. You don’t stress or even de-stress words that are not important.

Doing these, the rhythm of your English is going to improve.

 

4. The “Schwa” Sound

The Schwa sound is one of the most common sounds of English and also one of the most unknown between English learners.

English speakers use the Schwa sound instead of the regular sound of certain syllables and words when they’re de-stressed.

 

5. Intonation

When you speak you always want to convey a very specific meaning…

  • Are you asking?
  • Are you giving an order?
  • Do you have a doubt?
  • Do you disagree?

You always need to use the right intonation if you want people to understand what you want to express.

 

6. Connected Speech

One important characteristic of English is that there is a lot of linking between words.
Connecting words correctly when speaking is going to improve your English rhythm and it’s also going to reduce your accent.

 

7. Reduced Speech

When speaking in English you have to reduce or contract words whenever needed.
If you don’t do that your English is not going to sound natural.

 

8. Thought Groups

In order to speak clearly, you always have to mentally cut long sentences into shorter chunks that are called Thought groups.

This helps to stress the right words in long sentences and to pause naturally to breath.
Your English rhythm is going to sound more natural.

 

9. Word Endings

You have to be careful to never drop and pronounce word endings correctly.

Words endings are very important because they tell if a word is singular or plural or show what tense you are using.
It’s very common to be misunderstood when you are not careful pronouncing word endings.

 

 These are the 9 ingredients that when well mixed are going to make you sound like a native English speaker!!!

 

And Remember…

The 9 pillars to speak English well_
– What do you think about these 9 pillars?
– Did I miss one?
… All your comments are very welcome!!!

 

What to do next…

How to master English pronunciation … Coming soon!
How to master word stress
How to master sentence stress … Coming soon!
How to master the Schwa sound … Coming soon!
How to master English Intonation
How to master connected speech
How to master English contractions
How to master thought groups … Coming soon!
How to master Word Ending pronunciation

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.