3 tips for sounding like a native speaker


Hi again, welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today, I'm going to help you sound

a little bit more like a native speaker, hopefully. Students ask me all the time: "How can I sound

like a native speaker?" Well, before I say anything, let me just tell you that it will

take time and a lot, a lot, a lot of practice. The best way is to live in an English-speaking

country, of course, but of course you can do it anywhere, but it takes time; be patient,

practice, practice, practice. So we're looking at pronunciation. Let me

start with this word: "pronunciation". Not: "pronounciation". It is not a pronoun. A pronoun

is: "I", "me", "my", "mine". Pronunciation is how we speak English. So I'm going to give

you three tips that will help you sound a little bit more like a native speaker.

We're going to start with connecting words. Now, think about your own language, whether

you're speaking Spanish or Polish or Chinese, you do this in your language as well. When

you're speaking fast, you're taking words and you're squeezing them together; you're

connecting them, so one word flows into the next word. That's what we're going to do here.

You can connect consonants to consonants. What this means: when a word ends in a consonant...

A consonant is "b", "c", "d", "f", "g", etc. A vowel is "a", "e", "i", "o", "u". When a

word ends in a consonant and the next word begins with the same consonant, drop the first

one. So for example: we do not say: "black coffee", we don't say: "ke, ke". There's only

one "k": "bla coffee", "bla coffee." Okay? Practice that.

Now, "t" and "d", these are two different consonants, but according to the tongue and

the mouth, they almost sound the same so we do the same thing. "Wha do you do?", "Wha

do you do?" But again, another thing you have to keep in mind is when we say it fast, we

also don't really say "e", we say like a... Sort of like a small... We don't say "o" - sorry

-, we say sort of a small "e". "Wha do ye do?" Practice that. "Wha do ye do?" Strange,

huh? No "t", "wha", "de ye do?", "Wha de ye do?" That's how a native speaker would say

it naturally. Now, another thing is when a word ends in

a consonant and the next word begins in a vowel, make sure you roll it in. Right? Roll

the consonant into the vowel and separate the syllable before. A syllable is the vowel

sounds in a word. Okay? So nobody, like native speakers don't say: "Not at all. Oh no, not

at all." We don't say it like that. We say: "Oh, not-at-all.", "Not-at-all.", "Not-at-all."

Right? The "t", so this becomes: "No-ta-tall", "No-ta-tall", "Not at all". Okay? Say it quickly,

blend the letters one into the next. But again, practice it.

Now, for those of you who are going to be taking a test, an English test that involves

listening; IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, if you're in Canada you're maybe doing a CELPIP test.

Okay? This is going to help you on the listening section as well. This is one of the things

they're testing. Somebody on the recording will say: "Not-at-all", and you need to cut:

"Not at all", you need to understand the separate words, that's part of the test. So practice

speaking it, practice listening to it. Another thing we do is we squeeze some words.

Okay? Certain words, we don't say all the syllables, we don't even say all the letters.

I've heard many students say: "Com-fort-able", "com-fort-able", but native speakers, we don't

say this part, we don't say the "or". We say: "Comf-ta-bil", and notice the last sound is

like a small tiny, tiny little "i" in there. "Comftabil", "comf-ta-bil", "comftabil". Okay?

We don't pronounce the "or": "Comfortable". Nope, don't do that.

Another word like that: "Interesting". "In-chre-sting". Find out what the syllables are so: "In-ter"

- sorry, my mistake -, "In-ter-rest-ing". If you want to emphasize something, we have

a word called: "enunciate". When someone wants to emphasize a word, then they enunciate each

syllable; they say each syllable separately. "Oh, that is very in-ter-est-ing." Right?

Because I want you to understand that the word is interesting, but in every day speech:

"Intresting", "in-tre-sting". "In-ter-est-ing", I have four syllables, when I actually say

it naturally, it becomes three syllables and the "t" and the "r" become like a "ch", but

that's... We'll talk about that next. Another word: "every". "E-vry". I don't say:

"Ev-er-y", I don't say this letter "e", "ev-er-y". "E-vry", "evryone", "evrything", "evry". Okay?

Last: squeeze letters. Now, this is particularly true for a few letters. When we have "tr",

"tr" together usually sounds like "chr" so we don't say: "country", we say "cun-chry",

"cun-tree", like a tree that grows but even a tree is: "ch-ree", "chree". Okay? If you

go out with your friends, you go out for a "chreat". Okay?

Another one is "dr", "dr" also doesn't really sound like "dr". We don't say: "Hun-dr-ed".

Okay? It's too difficult for the tongue to make the quick switch, so this sounds like

"jr": "Hundjred", "hun-j-red", "hunjred". Now, this goes with the first idea when you're

connecting words, but when you're connecting words and you have a "d" and a "y" together,

it becomes like a "j" sound. "Di jou?", "Di jou?", "Di jou?", "Di jou do it?", "Di jou

do what I asked?", "Di ja? Di ja?" Okay? So we say it like that; very quick, very mixed

and you have to practice these because it's more habit than anything else. Native speakers,

we don't think about doing these things; it just rolls off the tongue just like that.

Okay? But also, make sure you do a lot of listening; listen to TV sitcoms, listen to

the radio, lots of things on the internet, ted.com for example you can hear native speakers

all the time. And what you can do is you can try to do dictation and try to listen and

cut the words you hear into the actual separate words that they are. Listen to individual

words, and try to find their syllables. Okay? But again, it's just practice, practice, practice.

And, of course, at www.engvid.com if you go to the search box at the top of the site,

we have a few more... We actually, we have quite a few more pronunciation lessons. You

can go there and become a more natural speaker of English. Okay? Thank you for joining me

today. Please go to the YouTube channel, my channel on YouTube, subscribe. And I will

see you again, really soon. Bye.