Many English learners pronounce each word clearly, to get the pronunciation perfect – but native English speakers don’t do this.
Natural spoken English contains reductions – sounds that change and disappear when spoken at normal speed. This sometimes makes spoken English hard for students to understand.
Doing English pronunciation practice with reductions will help you speak more naturally AND understand spoken English more easily. Listen and repeat!
Most native English speakers don’t pronounce “to” like the number “2.” Instead, we say it like this:
going to –> “gonna”
- I’m gonna graduate from college in two more years.
- She’s not gonna like that movie. It’s really violent.
- We’re gonna have a surprise party for John on April 8th.
want to –> “wanna”
- I wanna go out tonight.
- Hurry up! We don’t wanna miss our flight!
- He doesn’t wanna travel.
wants to –> “wantsta”
- He wantsta stay home.
- She wantsta start piano lessons.
“A” is such a simple word, what could be difficult about pronouncing “a”?
In spoken English, native speakers often “attach” the word “a” to the end of the previous word:
- reada – I read a good book.
- hasa – She has a car.
- mada – We made a mess.
- hava – They have a dog.
- boughta – I bought a new computer.
- wrota – I wrote a letter.
Practicing “attaching” the word “a” to the previous word will help your spoken English flow better and sound more natural.
In informal spoken English, many native speakers pronounce “you” as “ya”:
- Are ya hungry?
- Do ya like Japanese food?
- Have ya ever been to Paris?
- What were ya thinking about?
The word “and” often gets shortened to “n” in spoken English:
- I ate rice n beans.
- She likes baseball n soccer.
- I went to the bank n the supermarket.
- He wants to get a dog n a cat.
Here’s more speaking practice with “n”:
- apples n bananas
- blue n yellow
- chemistry n biology
- friends n family
- singing n dancing