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American English Pronunciation Podcast (Pronuncian.com), #13: The American English Pronunciation of informal contractions

#13: The American English Pronunciation of informal contractions

Learn how to understand and use these commonly spoken English contractions.

Transcript

Hi everyone, it's me Mandy, and this is the American English Pronunciation podcast number 13.

Today we have a fun podcast about informal contractions. Last week I taught about common contractions, words like don't and can't. Remember, contractions are important to use to help the rhythm of spoken English. Informal contractions are optional contractions, which are said very frequently, but rarely used in writing. Examples are words like wanna, gimme, and lemme. You're likely already familiar with these common informal contractions if you live in the United States.

As a listener of English, you really need to be able to understand people who use informal contractions, and nearly every native speaker does.

It is your choice to decide to use them in your own speech or not.

Let's start with the most well known.

1.

Lemme: if you see this spelled, which you usually won't, it is spelled l-e-m-m-e, and is actually the words let + me. Lemme, as in, "Lemme help you with that. "

2.

Wanna: w-a-n-n-a. Wanna is the combination of the words want and to. "I wanna go to the movies. Do you wanna come along? "

3.

Dunno: d-u-n-n-o. Dunno is the combination of the words don't and know. "I dunno how to speak Japanese. "

4.

Lotta and lotsa. Lotta and lotsa are combinations of the words lot of or lots of. "There are lotsa grammar rules for English. "

5.

Kinda k-i-n-d-a is a combination of kind and of. Kind of means sort of, or a little.

6.

Gonna g-o-n-n-a is a combination of going and to. "I'm gonna go to the movies tonight. "

7.

Gotta g-o-t-t-a is a combination of the words got and to, and the double t is said as a d sound, listen again, gotta.

Then there are the less known combinations, often of more than two words.

One of them is wheredja.

Wheredja is the combination of the words where + did + you. Wheredja. "I love your shoes. Wheredja get them? "

Whadja: Whadja is the combination of the words what + did + you.

"Whadja have for dinner last night. "

Howdja: Howdja is the combination of how + did + you.

"Howdja like the movie? I thought it was great.

Like I said before, it is truly your choice to use or not use these words.

They do have benefits of sounding more casual as well as helping with the overall rhythm of English, which I talked about a little bit last week. You will hear these words everywhere from informal conversations in a coffee shop or anywhere else to on TV and in movies, and even now being used by the broadcasters for American news.

I'm going to play a few lines from a movie I like to use for teaching called "The Incredibles.

" It's a funny Disney-Pixar computer generated cartoon. I've found examples of nearly everything I teach demonstrated in this movie. I'm going to tell you what the characters say, then play the example a few times. You'll probably find that the example goes by very, very quickly in actual speech. That speed is what makes it very hard to discover these aspects of spoken language on your own. In fact, these contractions were born from people talking quickly in the rhythm of English.

Let me tell you the scene of the movie.

Helen and Bob are superheroes and are getting married. Bob was nearly late for the wedding because he was out performing a super-act. Helen says, "Cutting it kinda close, don't you think?" There is the phrase "to cut it close" in that sentence, which means that you didn't leave room for error. She uses the informal contraction kinda, to mean that she wants to tell her husband that he was too late for her to be comfortable. He then tells her to be more flexible, which is alluding to an earlier scene, but is also a common phrase. Then she says the sentence, " I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible. You know that. Don't you?" She used the contraction gonna, for going + to, and gotta, for the words got + to. "If we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. Incredible" Then they go on to get married.

Here's the clip.

HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) Cutting it kinda close, don't you think? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) You need to be more... flexible. HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible.

You know that. Don't you? PRIEST ...so long as you both shall live? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) I do. PRIEST I pronounce this couple husband and wife.

Here is the whole clip one more time.

HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) Cutting it kinda close, don't you think? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) You need to be more... flexible. HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible.

You know that. Don't you? PRIEST ...so long as you both shall live? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) I do. PRIEST I pronounce this couple husband and wife.

I'll also add that audio separately online with the notes for this show so you can hear just this part again and again.

If you bought the Pronunciation Pages book or are an SLA student and have full access to the website, there is a webpage in the stress lessons which also covers these informal contractions.

As a review for today, we learned the following informal contractions:

lemme wanna dunno lotta lotsa kinda gonna gotta wheredja whadja howdja

Start listening for them and notice their frequency.

Play around with using them in your own speech and see how you like them. If you don't live in the United States or most of your interaction is in English with other non-native speakers, using informal contractions may not have the effect you are hoping for, as it may make you harder to understand by other non-native English speakers. You be the judge.

Remember, you can visit www.pronuncian.com to view the transcripts for this show and hear the clip for The Incredibles.

That's all for today everyone. Next week I'm going to begin teaching about some other aspects of speaking that will help your rhythm in spoken English, mainly about a concept called linking.

This has been a Seattle Learning Academy digital publication.

Seattle Learning Academy is where the world comes to learn.

Thanks for listening, and have a great week!



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#13: The American English Pronunciation of informal contractions

Learn how to understand and use these commonly spoken English contractions.

Transcript

Hi everyone, it's me Mandy, and this is the American English Pronunciation podcast number 13.

Today we have a fun podcast about informal contractions. Last week I taught about common contractions, words like don't and can't. Remember, contractions are important to use to help the rhythm of spoken English. Informal contractions are optional contractions, which are said very frequently, but rarely used in writing. Examples are words like wanna, gimme, and lemme. You're likely already familiar with these common informal contractions if you live in the United States.

As a listener of English, you really need to be able to understand people who use informal contractions, and nearly every native speaker does.

It is your choice to decide to use them in your own speech or not.

Let's start with the most well known.

1.

Lemme: if you see this spelled, which you usually won't, it is spelled l-e-m-m-e, and is actually the words let + me. Lemme, as in, "Lemme help you with that. "

2.

Wanna: w-a-n-n-a. Wanna is the combination of the words want and to. "I wanna go to the movies. Do you wanna come along? "

3.

Dunno: d-u-n-n-o. Dunno is the combination of the words don't and know. "I dunno how to speak Japanese. "

4.

Lotta and lotsa. Lotta and lotsa are combinations of the words lot of or lots of. "There are lotsa grammar rules for English. "

5.

Kinda k-i-n-d-a is a combination of kind and of. Kind of means sort of, or a little.

6.

Gonna g-o-n-n-a is a combination of going and to. "I'm gonna go to the movies tonight. "

7.

Gotta g-o-t-t-a is a combination of the words got and to, and the double t is said as a d sound, listen again, gotta.

Then there are the less known combinations, often of more than two words.

One of them is wheredja.

Wheredja is the combination of the words where + did + you. Wheredja. "I love your shoes. Wheredja get them? "

Whadja: Whadja is the combination of the words what + did + you.

"Whadja have for dinner last night. "

Howdja: Howdja is the combination of how + did + you.

"Howdja like the movie? I thought it was great.

Like I said before, it is truly your choice to use or not use these words.

They do have benefits of sounding more casual as well as helping with the overall rhythm of English, which I talked about a little bit last week. You will hear these words everywhere from informal conversations in a coffee shop or anywhere else to on TV and in movies, and even now being used by the broadcasters for American news.

I'm going to play a few lines from a movie I like to use for teaching called "The Incredibles.

" It's a funny Disney-Pixar computer generated cartoon. I've found examples of nearly everything I teach demonstrated in this movie. I'm going to tell you what the characters say, then play the example a few times. You'll probably find that the example goes by very, very quickly in actual speech. That speed is what makes it very hard to discover these aspects of spoken language on your own. In fact, these contractions were born from people talking quickly in the rhythm of English.

Let me tell you the scene of the movie.

Helen and Bob are superheroes and are getting married. Bob was nearly late for the wedding because he was out performing a super-act. Helen says, "Cutting it kinda close, don't you think?" There is the phrase "to cut it close" in that sentence, which means that you didn't leave room for error. She uses the informal contraction kinda, to mean that she wants to tell her husband that he was too late for her to be comfortable. He then tells her to be more flexible, which is alluding to an earlier scene, but is also a common phrase. Then she says the sentence, " I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible. You know that. Don't you?" She used the contraction gonna, for going + to, and gotta, for the words got + to. "If we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. Incredible" Then they go on to get married.

Here's the clip.

HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) Cutting it kinda close, don't you think? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) You need to be more... flexible. HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible.

You know that. Don't you? PRIEST ...so long as you both shall live? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) I do. PRIEST I pronounce this couple husband and wife.

Here is the whole clip one more time.

HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) Cutting it kinda close, don't you think? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) You need to be more... flexible. HELEN (ELASTIGIRL) I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible.

You know that. Don't you? PRIEST ...so long as you both shall live? BOB (MR. INCREDIBLE) I do. PRIEST I pronounce this couple husband and wife.

I'll also add that audio separately online with the notes for this show so you can hear just this part again and again.

If you bought the Pronunciation Pages book or are an SLA student and have full access to the website, there is a webpage in the stress lessons which also covers these informal contractions.

As a review for today, we learned the following informal contractions:

lemme wanna dunno lotta lotsa kinda gonna gotta wheredja whadja howdja

Start listening for them and notice their frequency.

Play around with using them in your own speech and see how you like them. If you don't live in the United States or most of your interaction is in English with other non-native speakers, using informal contractions may not have the effect you are hoping for, as it may make you harder to understand by other non-native English speakers. You be the judge.

Remember, you can visit www.pronuncian.com to view the transcripts for this show and hear the clip for The Incredibles.

That's all for today everyone. Next week I'm going to begin teaching about some other aspects of speaking that will help your rhythm in spoken English, mainly about a concept called linking.

This has been a Seattle Learning Academy digital publication.

Seattle Learning Academy is where the world comes to learn.

Thanks for listening, and have a great week!


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