EVERYDAY GRAMMAR: Understanding Fast Talkers

“English speakers talk too fast! I can’t understand what they’re saying.”

… native speakers squeeze, shorten, combine, and drop sounds all the time. IT’S IMPORTANT TO LISTEN FOR THE KEY GRAMMAR WORDS LIKE BE, HAVE, DO, TO, and WILL.

Why is it so hard to understand fast spoken English?  Students who mainly study English from books and written material often have trouble understanding spoken English when they hear it, even if they know a lot of words and grammar.  Frequently, when they listen to a fast conversation, students have trouble recognizing words they know.  If this is true for you, don’t feel bad.  The pronunciation of a word can be affected by the words around it in a sentence and if you don’t know about those changes, you might not recognize familiar words when you hear them.

In addition to these contractions, we have many common word combinations that change pronunciation when we say them, even though we don’t change them when we write them. These are some words and combinations that very frequently change pronunciation when we speak quickly:

to – ta

you – ya

Going to –Gunna

Want to — Wanna

Need to — Needta

Have to — Hafta

Had to  – Hata

Should have — Shudda

Would have — Wudda

Shouldn’t have — Shuddnduv or Shuddn’a

Wouldn’t have — Wuddnduv or Wuddn’a

Might have — Miteuv or Mite’a

Must have — Mustuv or Musta

Must not have – Must noduv or Must nodda

Have to have – Haveta’uv

Had to have – hadta’uv

It would -Id

He would – Heed

She would – Sheed

They would – Theyd

We would – Weed

You would – Youd

It would have  – I’duv

He would have – Heduv

She would have – Sheduv

They would have – Theyduv

We would have – Weeduv

You would have – Youduv

What do you – Whadaya

Where do you – Wheredaya

When do you – Whendaya

What are you – Whadarya (Sometimes Whadaya)

Let me – Lemme


Comments are closed.