LEARN ENGLISH with TV – MODERN FAMILY

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Hey you!

Thanks for showing up just to study English with me.

Today I have a real treat.

We're going to learn English with TV.

Because sometimes you just want to be entertained when you learn.

We're going to take a scene from the ABC comedy 'Modern Family'.

Have you seen it?

It's really funny.

There are lot of great reductions in this scene.

What we're going to do is a full pronunciation analysis.

So we'll watch the scene and then we'll go back and together we'll study all of the reductions.

Things like flap T, stress.

Studying this will really help you understand how Americans speak, what they do so it will

increase you listening comprehension and then it will also help you sound more natural when

you speak American English.

So I call this kind of exercise a Ben Franklin exercise.

It starts with us just watching the scene.

Then together we'll do the full pronunciation analysis.

I'll make sure you'll understand everything that's happening and how things are being

pronounced.

Let's go ahead and get started with the scene.

>> What you guys laughing at?

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.

You said something funny, didn't you?

The guy's a joke machine!

Oh, someone's sitting there.

Who?

Someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

Ah.

Grandpa you can sit with us.

Mmm, great.

And now, the analysis.

>> What you guys laughing at?

Okay, a single thought group.

Lots of reductions here.

What are you.

Well here's some stress on, stress on 'wha', some stress on 'guys', some stress on 'la'.

>> What you guys laughing at?

But are you unstressed?

Said really unclearly.

So, the word 'R' often reduces to schwa-R, rr, rr.

And then we would link with a flap T he links by actually I don't hear the R at all.

I hear what a, what a.

What are you, what are you, what are you.

The word U not reduced but it is unstressed.

Flat in pitch.

What are you, what are you, what are you, what are you, what are you, what are you guys.

Try that.

What are you guys.

>> What are you guys...

What you guys laughing at?

Guys laughing at.

Now, he drops the NG sound and instead makes just an N sound laughin', laughin', laughin'

at.

And then the N links into the vowel A, stop T at the end, laughin' at, laughin' at.

Try that.

>> laughing at?

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.

All linked together, all connected.

Oh, I wouldn't.

Little stress there.

Worry.

Most stressed there.

About it.

But everything is very smooth.

There's no skips in the voice, there's no brakes.

>> Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.

He holds out the word 'oh'.

Oh, I. Links it right into the I diphthong.

>> Oh, I...

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.

What about the 'n't'?

There are several different ways that Americans pronounce that rarely is it with T, a true

T release.

And here, I'm hearing 'wouldn't worry'.

I'm hearing the T is completely dropped.

I don't hear a stop, I hear the N linking right into the W sound.

Wouldn't worry, wouldn't worry.

So that is one way we pronounce an apostrophe T. Just without the T. That's what he's doing

here.

A reduction of a contraction.

>> I wouldn't worry about it.

Worry about it.

The ending E vowel links right into the schwa, the first syllable of about, about it.

And then a flap T is used to link the two words together.

We use a flap T to link words when it comes between two vowel sounds or after an R or

before a vowel.

About it, about it.

So it's not 'about it'.

With true Ts but it's 'about it'.

With a flap T and then a stop T. When you start studying T pronunciations, you realize

that it's not all that common to make a true T. It happens sometimes but most of the time,

the letter T is not pronounced as a true T. Here it was dropped completely, here it was

a flap T, and here it was a stop T. Here it was a flap T, and here it was a stop T. So

on this, in this two sentence fragment we have five Ts.

None of them are true Ts.

Making a true T a flap T or stop T or dropping it altogether does make English more smooth

and this linking together is so important for the character of American English.

>> I wouldn't worry about it.

You said something funny didn't you?

I'm going to stop here for a minute guys.

I have something important to tell you really quick.

If you would like this kind of analysis, I'm going to do 11 videos in a row starting June

18.

It's the summer blockbuster movies We're going to be learning English with movies and I'm

going to make an extra free audio lesson to go with each video lesson.

If you want that, you'll have to sign up.

I'm not going to bombard people with emails so I only want to send people these free downloadable

audio lesssons if you want them.

So if you want to study English with movies this summer, follow this link here or on the

description below.

Pass it on to your friends, we're going to be doing this together.

It's going to be so fun.

I cannot wait to spend my summer with you.

Okay now back to this analysis.

>> I wouldn't worry about it.

You said something funny didn't you?

You said something funny didn't you?

Okay we have lots of reductions here.

You said something.

You and some, both have a little bit of length but really fun is the most stressed syllable

there.

You said some-thing.

Whats happening here?

How is that being pronounced?

>> You said something funny...

'You' is fully pronounced 'you' but it is said quickly.

You said something.

I don't actually hear the D. Said something.

I hear the S sound, an E vowel linking right into the next sound, the S. The word said

which is a verb, a content word is said very unclearly here.

You said something.

Now what about something?

>> You said something funny...

Something.

Some'n.

Very casual way to pronounce this though you will hear regularly.

Some'n.

It's like S-U, a stop sound, the glottal stop and then M. Su-M, Su-M. So this is the U as

in butter vowel.

So those two sounds stay the same and then the stop is like the M, SU-M, and then the

M is made again to show the ending of the word.

It makes no sense.

It doesn't follow rules.

But this is how you will hear the word pronounced sometimes.

Su-M, Su-M, Su-M, Su-M.

>> something funny...

Actually, I think I'm going to change the way I wrote this in IPA.

I think I'm going to take away the stop symbol here and I think I am going to write it with

like an M, a stop and an M. Sum'm, sum'm, sum'm.

>> Something funny...

Anyway, go by what you hear.

Just imitate that.

Sum'm, sum'm.

>> Something funny, something funny, something

funny didn't you?

Didn't you? didn't you? didn't you?

Okay what's happening here?

Okay well first of all, the word 'you' reduced.

You, you, you.

Not an U vowel but a schwa instead.

What about the N'T here?

>> Didn't you?

Didn't you?

Didn't you?

To me it sounds like didn't you, didn't you.

The T is dropped.

We'll we knew that could happen.

I even feel that this D is dropped.

Din'ya, din'ya.

It's a lazy unclear way to say this but reductions happen.

They happen all the time.

Didn't you, didn't you, didn't you.

>> Didn't you?

I wouldn't say this is a very common way to pronounce the word didn't but it does happen

obviously.

He's doing it.

>> Didn't you?

The guys's a joke machine.

The guys's a joke machine.

So again everything smoothly linked together in this thought group.

No brakes.

The guy's a joke machine.

Joke has the most stressed.

Here it's a noun.

Joke can also be a verb.

But everything smoothly linked together.

The schwa of 'The' links right into the G.

The guys a.

Now 'S pronounced as a Z and that links right into the schwa.

The guy's a joke machine.

>> The guy's a joke machine...

What's happening the the K here?

It's not released.

Joke machine.

So the tongue tip goes up into position but then there's no K release of the sound before

he goes in to the next sound which is the M. So a stop consonant.

It's not uncommon to drop the release when that word is followed by a consonant.

Joke machine, joke machine, joke machine.

>> Joke machine...

Notice the CH in machine is pronounced SH.

Sh, sh, sh.

>> Machine...

Oh, someone's sitting there.

Oh, someone's sitting there.

Oh, someone's sitting there.

Smoothly linked together.

Pitch goes down towards the end of the phrase because it's a statement.

>> Oh, someone's sitting there.

Just like before with the word something, some, someone.

It's the U as in butter vowel and the stressed syllable there.

Now the 'S in this case would be a Z sound because it comes after a voiced sound, N.

But it's Z followed by S. These two sounds have the same mouth position.

Z is made with the voiced Z and S is made with just air, S. They're paired together.

And in a pair like this, it's the unvoiced sound that is stronger.

The voiced sound is weaker.

So it actually gets taken over.

And the two words just linked together with a, with an S sound.

Someone sitting.

There's no Z sound that you need to try to make.

Smoothly links the word together with the S. Someone sitting, someone sitting.

Now what do you notice with the double T here?

>> Someone's sitting there.

That's a flap T because it comes between two vowel sounds.

Sitting, sitting, sitting.

>> Sitting, sitting, sitting there.

Who?

Who?

Shape of a stressed syllable.

Up down, who?

>> Who?

Now this is a question, and you may know that many questions go up in pitch at the end.

Who?

But this doesn't because it's, can't be answered by yes or no.

So it's not a yes no question there for a pitch will generally go down.

Who?

>> Who?

Someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

Someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

I think those are the most stressed syllables there.

Let's look and see what's happening with the unstressed syllables.

Do we have any reductions?

>> Someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

Yes we do.

Someone who, someone who.

The W sound is dropped in who and it's just the U vowel that's linked on to the ending

N. Someone who, someone who.

These two words go together somewhat frequently and I think it probably happens a lot that

the W sound is dropped.

Doesn't have to be.

Someone who.

But it doesn't sound strange that it is.

Someone who, someone who.

In fact, I didn't even realize that it was dropped until I focused in on this and listened

to it many times in a row.

That's how much we are used to reductions.

I never thought 'Oh my goodness, he never say the W sound.'

Someone who...

>> Someone who doesn't ask...

What about N'T here?

Doesn't ask, doesn't ask.

I here the T is totally dropped and the N sound links right into the vowel A. In the

word doesn't, we have the U as in butter vowel and the Z sound.

So S makes a Z on this word 'doesn't'.

Doesn't ask

>> Someone who doesn't ask, someone who doesn't

ask, someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

The K releases really lightly into the schwa 'ask a'.

Ask a, k, k, ask a.

When we have an ending consonant and the beginning vowel and often can feel like the consonant

belongs to the word that begins with a vowel k, k, k.

Ask, ask.

>> Someone who doesn't ask a million

someone who doesn't ask a million someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

Million questions.

Ending N sound goes right into the beginning K sound very smooth.

Questions.

QU usually makes a KW cluster, it does here, questions.

>> A million questions...

Ah Grandpa, you can sit with us.

Grandpa, you can sit with us.

Higher in pitch.

Making it sound really friendly and inviting.

Grandpa.

D is dropped, it comes between two vowels.

Sorry, two consonants.

Very normal, very common to drop the D here.

It would be fairly uncommon to hear it pronounced.

Grandpa, grandpa.

And actually, you might often hear that as an M sound 'grampa' rather that 'granpa'.

>> Grandpa, you can sit with us.

They actually would sound pretty much the same.

Grandpa, grandpa, grandpa, grandpa.

It's hard to tell what she's doing.

I actually think the M sound is just closing the lips is a little bit easier, faster to

do than the N position.

So perhaps you could make this adjustment with this word.

Grandpa, grandpa, grandpa, grandpa.

And that would help you pronounce it more naturally.

>> Grandpa, grandpa, grandpa you can sit with

us.

Little bit of stress on U.

You can sit with us.

And then the most stressed there.

What about the word 'can'?

Very common to reduce this word.

Can, can.

K sound, schwa N said extremely quickly and it links the word U and sit together.

You can sit, you can sit.

>> You can sit with us...

Sit.

Stop T. Sit with, sit with.

Sit with us, sit with us.

And you can make a super light unvoiced th that links into the vowel U, for us.

With us, with us, with us.

Sit with us.

>> Sit with us.

Great.

Great.

Great.

Up down shape of the stressed syllable.

A single thought group here.

Sorry, a single word in a thought group.

A single syllable in a thought group.

Great.

up-down shape, and ends in a Stop T. Cut off, no release.

T, great, great.

>> Great.

So many reductions happening here.

If you didn't know about them and you were reading along, it would be very hard to understand

how they were doing, what they were doing.

But when we stop and we break it down, and we listen to a small fragment on a loop, it

becomes much more clear.

Then you can start to learn how to simplify what you do when you're speaking in English

to sound more natural.

Let's listen to the whole conversation one more time.

>> What are you guys laughing at?

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it.

You said something funny, didn't you?

The guy's a joke machine.

Oh, someone's sitting there.

Who?

Someone who doesn't ask a million questions.

Grandpa, you can sit with us.

Great.

That was fun.

To see the whole scene, click here or see the link in the video description below.

We're going to be doing a lot more of this kind of analysis video together.

What scenes would you like to see.

Let me know in the comments below.

Also, if you learn something brand new, a reduction or something like that that you

have never heard before, put that in the comments below.

I love to know what you guys are learning.

That's it and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

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