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  • Rachel: In today's video, we're going to go over how

  • to speak English fast. And we're also going to go over one mistake you want to make sure

  • you avoid when you're trying to pick up your pace speaking English.

  • First, let's listen to a native speaker speaking quickly. This is my friend Tom who you might

  • recognize because he's been on this channel before. Hi is an outstanding accent coach

  • in my online school "Rachel's English Academy."

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: That sounds pretty natural doesn't it? Pretty

  • American. To me it sounds completely conversational and completely natural. But it is really fast.

  • What is he doing?

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: He's speaking with reductions. He's takes

  • I-am-going-to and pronounces it 'I'm goin' to.'

  • We actually have 3 reductions there and they each show a very good example of how to speak

  • fast in American English. So let's break it down and study. Actually first, let's compare

  • this sentence. What if he said the sentence with no reductions at all then what would

  • it sound like?

  • Tom: Hi Rachel, I am going to Starbucks.

  • Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Wow, there's a big difference there. One's

  • natural, sounds fast, very American. The other one sounds completely unnatural. All of the

  • sounds are American and the melody is American but somehow it just doesn't work out to sound

  • like a natural conversational Englsih.

  • Tom: Hi Rachel, I am going to Starbucks.

  • Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Let's look at the very beginning. He takes

  • 'I am' and says 'I'm' a contraction. Tip #1: Use contractions. Americans use contractions

  • when speaking English all the time. If you never use a contraction, it would start to

  • sound a little unnatural. A contraction is a kind of reduction. And

  • I guess I should define reductions here. A reduction is when we change or drop a sound.

  • So in the combination 'I am', we have the I dipthong, the A vowel, the M consonant,

  • I am. But when we make a contraction, we drop the A vowel and it becomes 'I'm','I'm.' So

  • that drop sound means this is a reduction.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Notice he's not saying I'm. He's saying: I'm,

  • I'm, I'm. He's saying it really quickly. You can too. Practice that with me. I'm, I'm,

  • I'm.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: There are so many contractions in American

  • English. Take for example, you are that becomes 'you're'. But actually even that reduces.

  • It's very common to pronounce that you're, you're, you're. We change the vowel to the

  • schwa and we make it super fast. You're going to love this. You're, you're. You're

  • doing so well. You're, you're. I think you're right. You're, you're. So fast.

  • Because there are so many contractions and tricks to their pronunciation, I'm going to

  • put together a playlist on how to speak English fast. I'm going to put lots of videos in there

  • that supplement what we're learning here today. So I'm going put in videos on contractions

  • including a really fun one that includes some real-life English.

  • Woman: That's because she's a good teacher.

  • Rachel: That's because. Did you hear that? Another

  • contraction. That is, that's. Okay, let's go back to Tom's sentence.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: I'm goin' to. Going. An 'ing' verb. He changed

  • the 'ng' ending sound at the end and made it an in' instead. Goin' instead of going.

  • So when we make this change it changes the vowel too. The I vowel, when it's followed

  • by 'ng' tends to sound more like EE. But when it's followed just by 'n', then it does sound

  • like a pure E. So, going ing, ing, ing sounds like E plus ng. And 'goin', in, in, in sounds

  • like the E vowel and the N consonant. And I do feel like I'm able to make that ending

  • faster. Going. goin'.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: We've changed a sound. An example of a reduction.

  • So tip 1 was use contractions. Tip 2 expands that, Use Reductions. We have so many of em'

  • in American English and Americans use them all the time when they speak.

  • It is common to change the ing ending to an in' ending. You'll hear other people do it.

  • Did you hear that? Doin' instead of doing. So we do it especially with really common

  • words in casual conversations. If you do this all the time, always change the ing ending

  • to an in' consonant. It will probably start to sound like a southern dialect. Nothing

  • wrong with that if you live in the southern part of the US and you want that dialect.

  • But if you want a more standard American accent, use this reduction a little sparingly.

  • Let's go back to Tom's sentence. Wow! It is a tiny sentence and he is showing us so many

  • things that makes us speak faster when we speak American English. We're going to learn one

  • more tip on how to speak English fast before we get into our mistake that I wanna make

  • sure that you avoid.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: The word 'to'. How did he pronounce it?

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: I didn't hear 'tu'. And I didn't hear 'u',

  • to. What did you hear?

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Hmmm. Let's listen to the sentence when he's

  • fully pronouncing everything.

  • Tom: Hi Rachel, I am going to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Now I did hear the true T and the U vowel.

  • But both of those sounds changed when he was speaking more casually.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: What's happening? 2 things. First, the true

  • T, tu. He's changing that to a flap T. The true T is a stop consonant. It has 2 parts.

  • A stop and a release. The flap T is a quick single flap of the tongue against the roof

  • of the mouth. So I can make that more quickly duh duh duh duh duh rather than tu, tu, tu, tu,

  • tu which sorts of stops the momentum. In American English it is very common to change the T

  • to a flap T in certain situations. Those situations are: when the T sound comes between two vowels

  • or when the T sound comes after an R and before a vowel. And I should say, when I say vowel

  • in these rules, I do mean vowel or dipthong. Let's listen to how Tom says it again.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Okay now there it came after an N before a

  • vowel. Okay sometimes with the word to, the word today, the word tomorrow. In those 3

  • words probably together too. The beginning T can become a flap T even if the sound before

  • wasn't a vowel dipthong or an R. They can do that when the sound before was voiced like

  • in this case, the N. That sound is voiced 'n'.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: So he makes the T a flap T. He changes the

  • vowel to the schwa. Very common reduction. This word will almost never be pronounced

  • to. It will usually be pronounced 'tu' with a true T or 'tu' with a flap T. Now he did the

  • flap T as we've already discussed and we talked about we make a flap T when it comes between

  • certain sounds. What does it mean comes between? It's the beginning of the word. The letter

  • T is the beginning of the word 'to'. But wait, this brings us to tip 3 and that is linking.

  • Linking will help you speak more quickly and it is how Americans speak all the time. Let's

  • listen to his sentence again.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: The N sound goes right into the flap T with

  • no brake. In American English, the unit of the word doesn't matter in spoken Englsih.

  • We don't do anything to signal the end of a word, the beginning of the next word. Within

  • a single thought group all of the words, all of the sounds link together smoothly transitioning from

  • one sound to the next. Because of this, it means the phrase like f'or getting my' sounds

  • just like 'forgetting my.' It's my fault for getting my hopes up. For

  • getting my, for getting my. I keep forgetting my homework. Forgetting my, forgetting my.

  • For getting my sounds just like forgetting my because the sounds are the same, the stress

  • is the same and there's no differentiation between word units in spoken English. The

  • unit we use in spoken English is a thought group. That is the words that make up a single

  • thought that we articulate. Now that might include brakes as we think of what to say

  • and those brakes each make a new thought group. But the important thing to know is linking.

  • Within a thought group, everything links together smoothly with no brakes. That means a T can

  • become a flap T when it links 2 words together and follows the rules. Another example linking

  • the word at with the article A: at a, at a, at a, at a. That becomes a flap T. That sound

  • links the 2 words together. I do have a playlist on linking. I go over

  • the different kinds of links and how to practice them to really smooth out your speech, click

  • here or on the video description and actually I'll add that to the playlist 'How to Speak

  • Fast in American English.' So we have the flap T. We talked about a true

  • T. T, T. The stop and the release. We actually have another way that we pronounce the T and

  • that is as a stop T. That means that we make the stop but we don't release. For example

  • in the word 'thoughtful.' Thought-ful. You didn't hear t t t buy you heard thought-ful.

  • A quick brake. I'm exaggerating it there. thoughtful, thoughtful. There it is at a regular

  • spoken pace. Do you hear that little lift between syllables. Thoughtful, thoughtful.

  • It's not thoughful, thoughful. That little lift between syllables is the stop, is the

  • stop T. And just so you know, there are 2 other ways

  • you might hear the T sound pronounced. First, totally dropped. We do this sometimes after

  • N like in the word 'interview' or 'internet' or 'center'. And the other thing that we do

  • with the T is we can make it actually we often make it a ch sound when it's followed by R

  • like in the word 'train'. T is maybe the most complicated sound as far as how much it changes.

  • I will make sure that I link to a whole playlist on all of these T pronunciations here and

  • also on the video description. But this video is not about T pronunciations. It's about

  • how to speak English fast. Let's go back to Tom's sentence.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Okay so we've talked about tips for speaking

  • English fast. Use contractions, use reductions, use linking. I said there is one thing I wanted

  • to tell you to make sure not to do. And that one thing is cheat your stress syllables.

  • Let's listen to his sentence again. What is the stressed syllable?

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Starbucks. It's very clear. It's longer. It

  • has an up down shape in pitch. That is the shape of stress. Starbucks. Now what would

  • that sentence sound like if he had cheated that. If he had also made that syllable really

  • fast. Then it would sound something like: I'm going to Starbucks. I'm going to Starbucks. I'm

  • going to Starbucks. Listen to how he says it again.

  • Tom: Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: And I need that. I need that longer syllable.

  • That stressed syllable. It gives me my anchor. And that's why we still understand each other.

  • If everything was reduced and linked and said extremely quickly. I wouldn't be able to understand

  • anything. But it's these longer stressed syllables that give me my anchor in these sentences,

  • that help my mind organize when I'm hearing that help me understand. And when you don't

  • use reductions at all and everything is fully pronounced then I lose my anchors. They're

  • less clear. That's why it's really important for people to understand you for you to use

  • reductions. It seems like well that's not a very clear pronunciation I shouldn't use

  • it. But actually you should. Because it's that contrast of really fast with the longer

  • stressed syllable that helps us understand you. It gives us the context, the structure

  • of American English. Let's listen to the two sentences in contrast one more time.

  • Tom: Hi Rachel, I am going to Starbucks.

  • Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: Did you notice how we were wearing different

  • outfits? This is from a fun video series I did with Tom a while back while we wore casual

  • clothes when we were speaking natural American English and then we wore very formal clothes

  • when we we were speaking with no reductions and only true T pronunciations. And I wanna

  • want to say that's not a formal way of talking. It's just an unnatural way of talking but we did

  • this outfit change to add to the contrast.

  • Tom: Hi Rachel, I am going to Starbucks.

  • Hey Rach, I'm goin' to Starbucks.

  • Rachel: I don't want to tease you with just that one

  • sentence. Let's go ahead and watch the full lesson. You'll be able to study how we speak

  • English fast. How we speak English really quickly by using reductions, linking, contractions

  • and things like the flap T.

  • Tom: Do you want to come along?

  • You wanna come along?

  • Rachel: Do you. Do is reduced so much that we almost

  • don't hear it. Just a light D sound. The vowel in you isn't quite a pure u either. It's a

  • little more relaxed heading towards the schwa. do you, do you, do you. Do you wanna. Want to reduces

  • to wanna. Do you wanna. Do you wanna.

  • Tom: Do you want to come along?

  • You wanna come along? Do you want to come along?

  • You wanna come along?

  • Rachel: No thank you Tom.

  • No thanks. Thank you becomes thanks. One last syllable

  • No thank you Tom. No thanks.

  • No thank you Tom. No thanks.

  • I have got too much I want to get done here. I've got too much I wanna get done here.

  • I have becomes I've. Got too. Just one T between those two words. Got too. Got too. Want to

  • becomes wanna. Wanna. Get. We use a stop T sound here because the next sound is a consonant.

  • Get done. Get done. I have got too much I want to get done here.

  • I've got too much I wanna get done here. I have got too much I want to get done here.

  • I've got too much I wanna get done here.

  • Tom: Okay. I will be back soon.

  • OK. I'll be back soon.

  • Rachel: I will becomes I'll reduced to I'll

  • Tom: Okay. I will be back soon.

  • OK. I'll be back soon. Okay. I will be back soon.

  • OK. I'll be back soon.

  • Rachel: Oh, I would love a coffee though.

  • Oh, I'd like a coffee though.

  • I would becomes I'd

  • Oh, I would love a coffee though. Oh, I'd like a coffee though.

  • Oh, I would love a coffee though. Oh, I'd like a coffee though.

  • Tom: Medium?

  • Rachel: That will be fine.

  • Tom: Medium?

  • Rachel: That'll be fine.

  • That will becomes that'll. A two syllable word with stress on the first syllable. The

  • T at the end of that is a flap T because it comes with two vowels. That'll. That'll.

  • Tom: Medium?

  • Rachel: That will be fine.

  • Tom: Medium?

  • Rachel: That'll be fine.

  • Tom: Medium?

  • Rachel: That will be fine.

  • Tom: Medium?

  • Rachel: That'll be fine.

  • Tom: Great! See you in a bit.

  • Great. Seeya in a bit.

  • Rachel: Great with a stop T. This is because it's

  • the end of a sentence. You is more relaxed here. Not an u vowel but more of a schwa.

  • See ya, see ya. And finally, bit. With a stop T, bit, bit. Again, because it's coming at

  • the end of a sentence.

  • Tom: Great! See you in a bit.

  • Great. Seeya in a bit. Great! See you in a bit.

  • Great. Seeya in a bit.

  • Rachel: So many options for reductions and contractions

  • in such a short conversation. I also have a playlist of all four videos that Tom and

  • I made in that video series I called it a 'Contractversation' you can check it out here