Why You don't Speak Flowing English

Why You Don’t Speak Flowing English

One of my students said it all the other day. She said she finally got it. She realised the reason people don’t speak flowing English is they forget to link it up once they learn to how to pronounce English clearly.

She said she was so busy being careful to pronounce every word and sound, that she didn’t realise that to sound more natural in English and speak with flowing English, she had to use  the phrasing and linking that native English speakers use.

Speak Flowing English

When we learn to speak English we are being so careful to pronounce things clearly. But, we don’t get training in the next step which is to then link it up and make it smooth. This is a higher level English pronunciation step made of several elements.

Element 1 to Speak Flowing English

To link it up you need to use linking and elision properly.  When you do this it’s  like the single words being linked, are said as if they are just one big multisyllabic word.

For example take the phrase ‘and almost took’ .  We link the /d/ to the ‘a’ in almost, and we elide ( ‘elision’ -leave out) the /t/ at the end of almost because ‘took’ begins with a /t/ anyway.  So when we speak flowing English we say ‘italmostook’ as if it was one long, multisyllabic word.

Another example is : ‘ I have a book on the table’  In this one we link the /v/ at the end of have to the ‘a’, and the /k/ at the end of ‘book’ to the ‘o’ in ‘on’. So we say “I hava bookon the table.”

Element 2 to Speak Flowing English

Use contractions.   Use the contracted form. So use ‘I’m’ instead of I am; ‘we’re’ instead of we are; ‘she’ll ‘ instead of she will; ‘it’s’ instead of it is etc

Element 3 to Speak Flowing English

Listen to other English speakers and hear how they chunk words together or phrase words together in a sentence – especially the longer ones, rather than just saying each word separately.

For example in the sentence, “Please get the two tickets and meet me at the last gate.”  You say  ‘please get the two tickets” as one smooth phrase, and then say ‘and meet me at the last gate’ as the other phrase or grouped together words.

You make your  voice pitch go up slightly for the last vowel in the last word in the phrase (the ‘e’ in ticket) , and you make the vowel slightly longer, and then say the next phrase.

So after you have learned to say each word and sound clearly in English, don’t forget to link it all up together again to speak flowing English and to sound more natural.

Feel free to comment or ask questions below.

Best wishes,

Esther

 

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