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English Pronunciation Pod 89

Saturday Oct 29th, 2011
English Pronunciation Podcast 89-
Reduced Forms -Part II- How Americans "really" speak English.

Learn how to pronounce English with an authentic native accent by using reduced forms.



In this weeks podcast, we're going to continue to learn how Americans really speak English by using reduced forms.

Have you ever noticed how Americans don't always pronounce the sounds of every word?
It seems like certain sounds are being swallowed, shortened or even disappearing.
This is because native speakers use something known as reduced forms.

A reduced form is a word whose vowel has been shortened or reduced. Reduced forms are sometimes
called weak forms.

Using reduced forms is an important way to make the rhythm and intonation of your speech flow and
sound more like a native speaker's.
It will also make it easier for native speakers to understand you.
What's more, becoming aware of them will make it easier for you to understand what native speakers are saying.

The focus of this week's podcast is:

  • To review what a reduced form is and when Americans use them.
  • Practice using a new reduced form in some key phrases of American English

Review: What is a reduced form?

In your native language, the way a word is spelled is usually the way it is pronounced.
There is a direct relationship between spelling and pronunciation.

As you probably know, this is not always the case in English.

Listen to the following sentence and notice how certain words have shorter vowels than others.

I made her steak and eggs for breakfast.

Notice how the words "her", "and" and "for" are reduced, pronounced with shorter vowels, disapearing consonants and also have lower pitches.

Reduced forms are unstressed words whose vowel quality changes. In some cases, a consonant may dissapear as well.

Just as we reduce unstressed syllables of words, we also reduce unstressed structure words of sentences.

For a full detailed explanation of reduced forms, I recommend that you listen to our last podcast, podcast 88 and for complete,
instruction and practice on all the reduced forms of English, be sure to try my English pronunciation course in mp3, Best Accent Training mp3s.,
which now has an extensive, special section on reduced forms.

The Reduced Form of "for":

This week we're going to focus on the reduced form of the preposition "for".
"For" is pronounced /fɔɚ/ but if that word falls on an unstressed place in a phrase, an American
will reduce it.
The reduced form of /fɔɚ/ is /fɚ/. From /fɔɚ/ to /fɚ/.

Let's compare and contrast the full form with the reduced form.

The full form: /fɔɚ/ ... reduced form: /fɚ/

Exercise: Please listen and repeat:


Now let's hear this reduced form in context, in a phrase.

Jens looking for a new roomate.

Notice that did not say, " Jen's looking /fɔɚ/ a new roomate."

This pronunciation does not sound natural, like a native speaker's because I overstressed the word "for."

Instead of saying /fɚ/, I said /fɔɚ/

But a native speaker, an American will most likely say : Jen's looking /fɚ/ a new roomate.

If you are having difficulty pronouncing the American /ɚ/ sound, as in /fɚ /you can find a full lesson in in previous podcasts
and in Best Accent Training mp3s.

Now let's practice using the reduced form in some phrases. Remember "for" will be pronounced /fɚ/.

Pronunciation tip:
Also, it's important to realize that when you curl your tongue tip to say /ɚ/ as in /fɚ/, it's not necessary to curl
as much or as long you normally would because this word is not stressed.
You just need to curl and uncurl. Get into the position and get out.

Exercise: Please listen and repeat the following phrases and sentences containing the reduced form /fɔ/.

Two for the price of one

Shes looking for a job.

Sarah and John were made for each other.

Practice is Key!

Today's lesson focussed on one reduced form: "for" pronounced /fɚ/.
There are many other reduced forms in English which need to be mastered in order to
speak clearly and correctly.

Speaking English with an American accent is a gradual process but with the right amount of training
and practice you can do it!

The Right Training Tools for Better Pronunciation:

It's important to have right training tools in order to improve your accent.

That's why I recommend that you check it out my English Pronunciation Course in mp3 format- Best Accent Training mp3s!

No matter what your first language is, Best Accent Training has the lessons you need for speaking English clearly and correctly.

All the sounds of English in one course!

Best Accent Training mp3s contains all the sounds of English with step by step instructions and practice exercises.
You'll get all the vowels of English, all the consonants, syllable stress lessons, intonation and rhythm lessons,
reduced forms
and connected speech!

Best of all, Best Accent Training is a fast and easy download that you can put on your mp3 player and take with you wherever you go!
I specifically designed it for that purpose.

Any questions, comments or suggestions ? Contact us at:   contact@englishpronunciationpod.com


Thank you and see you next time!




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After practicing with Best Accent Training daily,
I can say that my English communication has improved 100%. "

- Domingo Ponce Rodriguez- - Marketing Manager USA (Spain)

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