Episode 1: Greetings
- Warm-up Questions & Vocabulary
- Present Simple of “To Be” & There is/are
- Listening Practice
- Word Stress & Syllables
- Rhythm: Sentence Stress
- North American English Alphabet & Spelling
- Stop Consonants /p/ and /b/
- Linking: Same Letters
- Intonation: Statements & Phone Numbers
- Reductions: it’s a, got to, Toronto
- Inference: Surprise
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Which sentence sounds more natural, 1 or 2?
I don’t know where to start.
The first one.
Linking happens when sounds are joined together, in this case, the sounds of different words. Linking (and reductions, which I’ll introduce later) might be the reason why you have trouble separating words when you’re listening to a fluent speaker.
Spoken English is different from written English because fluent speakers join words to save breath and time when they speak.
When a word ends in the same sound that the next one begins, we normally don’t say the first word completely, stop, and then start the next word with a fresh breath.
Instead we hold the sound and release it into the next word; we typically don’t say the letter twice.
For example, in I don’t know where to start, the word know ends in /w/ and the next word where also starts with /w/. So we hold the /w/: I don’t kno…w…here to start.
This also happens when the last letter of a word is silent.
For example, in I don’t like cats, the word like ends with an “e”, but it is silent. Therefore, the last sound in like is /k/, which is the first sound in cat. So we link those words, only saying the /k/ sound once: I don’t li…k(e)…ats.
To learn more about linking, go the Resources page.
Practice: Where does the linking happen in these lines? Listen to the audio to check your answers.
- Great to meet you too.
- Hey, I’m going to head down there this weekend. What’s the best park to visit?
- You should also check other places like the Distillery District, Kensington Market, Yonge-Dundas Square.
- I’d also recommend checking out the bar scene especially during patio season in the summer.
- You know, if you want to get some more recommendations, we could exchange numbers.
- Grea…t…o meet you too.
- Hey, I’m going to hea…d…own there this weekend.
- You should also check other places like the Distillery District, Kensington Market, Yonge-Dunda…s…quare.
- I’d also recommend checking ou…t…he bar scene especially during patio season in the summer.
- You know, if you want to get so…m(e)…ore recommendations, we could exchange numbers.