3 Ways to Sound More American When you Speak English

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Hi, I'm Gabby from gonaturalenglish.com

where you can learn to speak English fluently and

confidently

In

This lesson you're going to learn how to speak English

more

native-like more naturally and how to use intonation to sound more like an

American English speaker, so if you're up for improving your

American English accents then let's go

It's time that we stop thinking of English as just words vocabulary

grammar rules

more than half of our communication in any language is

done through

intonation and that's why this video is so important because

in your traditional English language classroom

You rarely learn about intonation and how important it is in your communication in English

And it's super important to help you sound more native, like because natives know how to use intonation

Naturally, it's not something that we're really taught in school

But we learn it as we grow up speaking the language

So I'm going to share three points with you three things that you may not be doing today

That are keeping you from sounding like a native English speaker

So let's begin we have to understand that English is more than grammar rules and more than just words

If it was just words and grammar, that would be way easier. But English is

Like music English has a Mel it has rhythm

it has stress and we're going to talk about all three of these and how you can use them to sound more like an

American English speaker, so first of all, let's think about

Melody when I ask you a question, like what are you doing?

Do you hear a little bit of music?

Let me just say these words

With the melody actually, no words

Mm-hmm

No, no, no

that it

Did it a data? What are you doing da dadada?

So there's a little bit of a melody. I'm not saying these words with the same

Melody the same note. I don't say duh duh, duh, duh

Duh, if I did I would sound like a robot and I'm not a robot. I swear

And you're not a robot either, right?

So we don't want to say what are you doing here? We want to say, what are you doing?

What are you doing?

so use melody when you ask a question in WH questions, our intonation goes

Down, but before it goes down. It actually goes up

What are you doing? What are you doing? So actually there's a rule here any

WH question WH questions being any question that begins with what who where when or why

our

intonation

Going down at the end. So what are you doing?

Why are you doing that?

How are you doing that?

When are you doing that?

With whom are you doing that?

So all of these WH questions go up then then down if you're asking a question, that's a yes/no question

It's a little different. Do you like ice cream?

Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da

The yes/no questions and on a higher note. It's like music but

Before we go up we go down

Do you like ice cream?

Do you like ice cream?

Well, yes, I do. Thank you for asking

but seriously

Listen to the intonation. It's very important and there are rules so it's not just totally random

I know English seems really crazy. It seems totally random, but it's not so these are

important rules to know and to use

Melody is really important when you're asking questions

But it's also really important when you're just making statements like when I say, but first coffee

but first coffee

Can you hear how the note goes down the pitch in my voice goes down but first?

coffee

but first coffee

It's very important always first coffee then study English

But seriously when you're ending a sentence your pitch goes down your voice goes down

But before it goes down, it goes up a little bit, but first coffee

also

intonation is super important for

expressing your true

sentiments your true feelings

Some phrases don't automatically get a pitch. I gave you some rules to follow now like

Statements go down

wh-questions go up

Yes/no questions go down, but people express themselves

in other ways besides those three forms, so take a word like

Interesting if I just say it like that

You can take it at face value. It's interesting

If I add some pitch to it

I can completely change the feeling of the word. For example, let's make my pitch go up

interesting

interesting

Well, I am surprised and amazed. Let's make my pitch go down

interesting

Interesting. I'm more serious

Let's make my pitch flat now. No, melody no pitch

Interesting. Do you really think that I think

Something is interesting when I have no expressive pitch

No, that's the problem when you don't use pitch you may be

Expressing yourself or other people may think that you are expressing yourself in a negative

way if I simply say

interesting

That may sound sarcastic to other people if you have no pitch if you have no

Upward pitch of your voice or downward pitch either way and you sound robotic

people may think that you are actually not interested and you actually do not think that thing is

Interesting, so it's important to add feeling to your voice with pitch

rhythm

Rhythm is not just a dancer

rhythm is not just music rhythm is

English and rhythm is a result of the message that you are expressing

rhythm is the message that you are expressing and it's

Important to use it as a powerful tool to express yourself

Rhythm comes from stress and we're going to talk about stress as well. But let's look at an example

what are

You going to do?

What are you going to do?

What are you going to do?

I'm marking the rhythm no matter how slowly or quickly I speak. It is the same

What are you going to do? What are you going to do? What are you going to do? What are you gonna do?

What are you gonna do? Are you gonna do? What are you gonna do now? You heard me use contractions I use linking and

some words

disappeared

what I

gonna do it's completely different in terms of

Completely and on stating the words

Then what are you going to do?

But what's super interesting about English? Is that the rhythm stays the same? What are you going to do?

What are you gonna do?

Completely different but yet the same same same but difference so rhythm is an

important way to express yourself

Because rhythm is a marker of stress. Let's look at another example. I

Speak English. I do speak English. I do not speak English. I do not speak English

You may notice that I added words with every sentence. I do speak English

The first sentence I'm stressing the subject. I

Speak English the second sentence

I'm stressing the fact that I do speak English and because that stressed word do is there then I actually am

NOT stressing the subject anymore

It would be quite rare not impossible. But quite rare to stress every single word in a sentence. For example, I

I

Do

speak English

This sounds quite overly dramatic and unnatural but it would be natural to say I do

Speak English. Do you really speak English? Yes, I do speak English

I can even add another word

I do not speak English and the rhythms the same. I do not speak English

I do not speak English

Why is this this is because within?

Every sentence every phrase. We have a rhythm that is based on the words that are stressed

So let's talk about stress

First of all, we have word level stress. This means that within

Every word in English that has more than one syllable. We have a stressed syllable

for example

computer

Computer we have three syllables computer and the stressed syllable is the second syllable

Computer come

Booter okay. How about

Laptop because it's a laptop computer. How many syllables two lap top? Which is the stress syllable the first one

laptop, so each word in English has a stressed syllable and an

Unstressed syllable if we have more than two syllables. We have a stressed syllable and multiple unstressed syllables

The stressed syllable is so strong

It's like a bully that makes the other syllables feel weak. And so they actually

Change their sounds so they become weak schwa sounds as schwa sound is like ah

so I say

computer

laptop

other words like one men

Here's actually a tip a lot of English learners. Say whoa, man

Because you're trying to stress both syllables, but that doesn't happen with native English speakers

We stress one syllable, so it becomes one

Men, so not woof man, but were men

so we have the schwa the

Sound now the schwa doesn't always appear in every single word like it doesn't show up in

computer

but

So the schwa even shows up in words like computer I don't say comme

puter I say

computer

So we have that

In the first syllable because the second syllable is so stressed and lap top is not

Laptop its laptop. Oh we have that

Sound so every single word

Almost every single word

I'm sure there's some exceptions has a stressed syllable that is really pronounced clearly

quite strongly a bit higher pitch a bit louder and

Usually longer than all of their syllables. It's so powerful. You really want to stress it to sound more natural and more

American when you speak English and then you have to remember that the other syllables are going to be weaker

All right, so that is a word level stress. We also have phrase level stress

This is super important and has a lot to do with rhythm which we were just talking about right? I

speak English like those examples phrase level stress we

Stress certain words in a sentence the whole word is more stressed in

Certain words in a sentence and in other words in a sentence we don't have as much stress

What words do we stress we stress?

Content words and we do not stress function words. These are

General rules there are exceptions. Like if I really wanted to stress for example, if you asked me cabbie, um,

do I need to say the pen I would say yes, you should say the

Pen because we're talking about a specific pen in that case

I just stressed the word the a lot because it's an important word that I want to

express to you, so

Normally not stressing the word the we would

Not need to stress it in a regular sentence if I'm not explaining about the word buh

Or if I don't want to stress the words up. So for example

The pen is on the table. Oh my gosh. What a great example, right. Have you ever heard that one before?

Um, um

The pen is on the table. You barely hear the word the the pen is on the table

It almost sounds like I'm just saying pen is on the table, but I'm not I'm saying no pen is on the table

The pen is on the table. So pen is a Content worry. It's our subject pen is on the table

Table is also an important word. So it's stressed. The pen is on the table

So usually we stress a verb and is is a quite short verb

but we hear it a bit more than other words like the or on this is also why prepositions are so hard because they're not

Stressed their function words, so we do not usually hear them and therefore it's harder to grasp them

but anyway

We have phrase levels stress and that is super important to stress

The important key words content words are like key words

What words do you really need to know?

Like the subject and the verb so who is doing what those are the most important things and you want to say them?

Stressed stressed again is louder longer higher the pen is on the table

Okay, the bed is on the table. So we say them a little bit longer louder and higher perfect

So if you keep these three points in mind melody rhythm and stress you are going to sound much more

Native-like much more natural less like a robot and more like an American English

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