Britlish

Changes in Fast Speech

Pronunciation | Listenings | Speaking

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Listenings

Reading is the easiest way to take in English. Listening is a much harder skill and one that has to be developed as you study the language. There are lots of speech features that arise when native English speakers speak English. These speech features, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and the way in which speakers may miss out sounds or whole words, are important to understand if you are to be able to listen to and fully understand spoken English. These Britlish Library Activities will help you to develop you listening skills.  

Speaking

It's not easy to teaching speaking skills remotely through a website, however good the site is. To really practice your speaking skills, you need someone to speak to who can correct your mistakes as you go. The Activities here will go some way to helping you to improve your speaking skills by helping you to mirror the speech you hear in the lesson. In this way, you can notice how your speech differs from that in the Activities and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the Activities.

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Practice hearing the changes in fast spoken speech. When we speak quickly, sounds that we expect to hear may be missing. It’s not only sounds that go missing in fast spoken English. Whole words may disappear, too. Sounds also change in fast spoken English and some words will not sound the same as they do when spoken slowly, or the way they are shown in dictionaries. In these exercises, I want you to try to hear what changes are taking place in the fast spoken sentences. We will look in greater detail at the changes in later lessons in this Sounds British Pronunciation Course. Changes in Fast Speech.

Changes in Fast Speech | Sounds British | Missing Sounds | When we speak quickly, sounds that we expect to hear may be missing. | Listen to the following sentences and try to hear which sounds are missed out. | He walked to London when he was younger. | Just to be clear, I don’t know where he is. | Who’s that at the front door? | Let’s Check | I’ve highlighted the missing sounds in the following sentences in blue. | He walked to London when he was younger. | The / t / in walked and the / h / in he are missed out. | Just to be clear, I don’t know where he is. | The / t / in just and don’t and the / h / in he are missed out. | Who’s that at the front door? | The / t / in front is missed out. | Missing Words | It’s not only sounds that go missing in fast spoken English. Whole words may disappear, too. | Listen to the next short conversation and see which words are missing or very reduced. | A. I’m off to the shops. Do you want anything? | B. We need some milk and eggs. Have you got enough money? | A. You’d best give me a couple of quid then. | B. I’ve only got a tenner. | A. I’ll bring you the change. | Let’s check | I’ve highlighted the missing or reduced words in the conversation in blue. | A. I’m off to the shops. Do you want anything? | B. We need some milk and eggs. Have you got enough money? | A. You’d best give me a couple of quid then. | B. I’ve only got a tenner. | A. I’ll bring you the change. | Sound Changes | Sounds also change in fast spoken English and some words will not sound the same as they do when spoken slowly, or the way they are shown in dictionaries. | Take this conversation between a teacher (T) and a pupil (p) for instance: | T: Good boy! Are you drawing a speed boat? | P: I need some more white paper, teacher. | T: We’ve only got green paper left. | P: Green paper will do. | T: We’ll have some more white paper on Monday. | Let’s Check | Do you hear the following changes? | T: Good boy! Are you drawing a speed boat? | P: I need some more white paper, teacher. | T: We’ve only got green paper left. | P: Green paper will do. | T: We’ll have some more white paper on Monday. | The / d / sound in good becomes / b / before the consonant / b / in boy and boat. | The / t / sound in white becomes / p / before the / p / sound in paper. | The / n / sound in green becomes / m / before the / p / sound in paper and before the / m / sound in Monday. | Exercises | Now it’s time to put what we have learnt into practice. | In the next exercises, I want you to try to hear what changes are taking place in the fast spoken sentences. | We will look in greater detail at the changes in later lessons in this Sounds British Pronunciation Course. 

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