When we want to be super clear with our English accent, we do need to choose to make every sound clearly. We may be emphasising a point, presenting to others, going for a job interview etc. Most of the time though, just like in any language, we tend to be less precise. To sound more natural with your English accent, especially socially, besides learning general linking, we are going to look at the linking, or intrusive ‘y’ /j/ in speech.
I have already talked about the linking ‘w’, and it’s the same with the intrusive ‘y’. These two sounds are inserted to help us speak more smoothly when two vowel sounds ‘meet, or in other situations to allow us to say the word or two words together with greater speed, English stress and musicality. This also happens with the linking /r/.
Let’s take an example. If we pronounced the word ‘regular’ as it’s spelt, we would say ‘reg oolar’. Instead, we say ‘reg yoolar’. Another example this time between words is, ‘I am’. This becomes ‘I yam ‘. We insert the ‘y’ /j/ for speed and flow.
English Accent- Sound Natural – How To Use The Intrusive ‘y’- Between words:
In spoken English we use the ‘y’ sound when one word ends in I (my); ee (tea); ay (play); oi (boy), and the next word begins with any vowel.
English Accent- Sound Natural – How To Use The Intrusive ‘y’
I am (Iyam)
I asked (Iyasked)
She opened (sheyopened)
They are here (theyare here)
3 oranges (threeyoranges)
I always (Iyalways)
I ate cake (Iyate cake)
I own a car (Iyown a car)
She often comes early (sheyoften comes early)
He always watches that (heyalways watches that)
Day after tomorrow (dayafter tomorrow)
Sunday and Tuesday (Sundayan Tuseday)
boy and girl (boyan girl)
Don’t destroy it ( don’t destroyit)
Make sure you listen for this, and notice this, in other people’s speech so you also know when to use it.
Best wishes, Esther