Connected Speech

Introduction

In English (much the same as in other languages) we don’t say every word individually and in isolation. What tends to happen is a joining of words which makes it essentially easier for the speaker. Although this connected speech can make things difficult to understand for learners of English (and may take some time to practise), it is a useful area to get right.

Let’s look at some of the ways speech becomes connected in English.


Joining s’s

When a word ending in a voiced or voiceless ‘s’ is followed by a word beginning with a voiced or voiceless ‘s’ then we can join these together into a single sound.

This spaceship
Those sausages
These stars
Pass something
Bus seven


Joining m’s / n’s

We can do the same with our m’s and n’s. Just join them into one longer, continuous sound.

Tom might

Kim mistook

Hen night

Lone knight

Pen knife


Glottal Stops

For words that end and start with the same sound, or even from the same voiced / voiceless pairing, we can use a glottal stop. Let’s look at the following example: –

Cat toy

Instead of pronouncing the ‘t’ sound at the end of “cat”, we can hold the sound and then release it on the ‘t’ sound of “toy”. Again, this can also be done with voiced / voiceless pairings, so we can do the same with: –

Bad toy

Here are some more to practise with: –

Look closely
Take care
Speak clearly
Pet dog
Last time


Catenation

Even when the two sounds aren’t the same, we can still link them. This is often the case when one word ends with a consonant and the next word starts with a vowel.

What apple

Cup of

His eyes

Write up

Get in


Weak Forms

Often there are words that we will pronounce quieter and weaker than other words in a sentence, these are called weak forms. “and” is commonly used in this way and will often be nothing more than an ‘n’.

Fish and chips

Two hundred and three

Black and white

Up and down

Right and wrong



Transitive And Intransitive Verbs

Introduction He kicked the ball. She is running. They moved quickly. We can divide verbs into two different categories: transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. We use these terms to describe whether a verb needs to take an object in order to make sense. In the above examples, “kicked” is transitive, “running” is intransitive and “moved”…

Continue Reading Transitive And Intransitive Verbs

Phrasal Verbs List

Below is a list of 47 useful phrasal verbs in English. They are arranged into groups to help memorize them easier. As well as this, example sentences are included to give context and make understanding their use even easier. Each section will be split up using the following format: Phrasal Verb Meaning Example Sentence “Act”…

Continue Reading Phrasal Verbs List

Question Tags

What Are Question Tags? You’re going away again, aren’t you? He doesn’t like this food, does he? They didn’t go to the party, did they? Questions tags or tag questions (according to American grammarians) are short questions we add to the end of a sentence in order to turn a declarative statement into a question.…

Continue Reading Question Tags

Phrasal Verbs

What Are Phrasal Verbs? I got on the bus. I took the TV apart. Clean up that mess! Phrasal verbs are made up of a verb combined with either an adverb, a preposition or sometimes both. Sometimes there will be a single word equivalent that could be used instead. He was brought up by his…

Continue Reading Phrasal Verbs