To speak English clearly and confidently, you need to know about the ‘w’ mystery!

The ‘w’ mystery is a trick that fluent English speakers know about, that takes their English pronunciation to a higher level.

Speak English Well- What is the secret of the  ‘W’ mystery?

To speak  English well, you need to  speak it  with the right English stress and rhythm. You need to know when to link words together so you sound smooth and not choppy and more natural.  I have written to you before about linking  in English pronunciation, but now we are going to look at linking of a different sort.

When an English word ends in the /o/ or ‘oo’  vowel- specifically when the /o/ says ‘oe’ or ‘oo’  and the word immediately following it begins with a vowel, you need to put an intrusive or  linking /w/ in the middle. It helps your mouth get from one word to the next more easily.

For example: ‘to a’  (go to a shop)  is said  ‘to wa’.   ‘Go after’   is said   ‘go wafter’.

By the way if a word ends in an ‘ee’ or ‘ie’ vowel sound, and the following word begins with a vowel, then the linking sound is a ‘y’ /j/ sound.  For example ‘me and you’  is said  ‘me yand you’ .   ‘See it’   is said  ‘see yit’.

Practise with me in the audio lesson below:


Speak English Well –  W linking


to a (to wa) ; to eat (to weat); to our ( to wour); into it ( into wit); kangaroo out ( kangaroo wout);  who ate ( who wate); do it ( do wit); go under (go wunder); go after (go wafter); no it ( no wit);

In instances where the /w/ sound in the vowel combination ‘ow’ ( said as ‘ow’ or ‘oe’)  isn’t said, you also need to say the /w/ when the next word begins with a vowel. You need to actually say the /w/ and run it into the next word. For example ‘show us’ is said ‘show wus’ or ‘allow it’ is said ‘allow wus’ etc.


We’re going to eat;  Come to our party; Go to a meeting; Put the kangaroo out back; who ate my cookies?; Don’t do it; No it won’t fit; He won’t allow us to go; Show it to me.

Speak English Well –  Y Linking


me on ( me yon); be at ( be yat); tree in ( tree yin); see it ( see yit); me a (me ya); committee after ( committee yafter); try it (try yit); pie out (pie yout); tie a ( tie ya); cry over ( cry yover).


Come see me on the show; Be at the station on time; I can’t see it; Call the committee after the meeting; Take the pie out; Tie a ribbon on; Don’t try it; He began to cry over it.

Enjoy practising,

Best wishes, Esther

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