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British English pronunciation lesson: linking words

 

In this lesson I offer advice on British English pronunciation when linking words. Please see notes and resources below. This topic was suggested by Marc Kevin Bautista.

 

 

I think this comes up when the second of two words starts with a vowel. If the last letter of the first word is a vowel as well, an “r” sound often links the words (see below):

 

The idea (r)of it

India (r)and China

A media (r)event

Pasta (r)and sauce

Saw (r)and conquered

 

Law (r)and Order

 

The linking (intrusive) letter sound seems to depend on the vowel sound at the end of the first word:

 

I (y)am

 

I (y)answered

 

She (y)understands

 

We (y)are

 

Me (y)and you

 

You (w)and me

 

You (w)are

 

You (w)enter

 

When the second word starts with a vowel but the first word does not end with one, it is common to pronounce the last letter of the first word at the beginning of the second word instead.

 

The hea (t)of the day

 

The passio (n)of the man

 

They (y)entered the restaurant

 

Don (ch)ou know? (Don’t you know?)

English conversation practice: special guest star

 

Here my brother (special guest star Rob) and I discuss common daily subjects in special English conversation practice lesson. Please see notes and resources below.

 

 

Vegetarianism

A vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat. (Including fish.)

Rob is a vegetarian.

There are vegetarian products in UK supermarkets and animal rights groups who campaign.

People may choose to be vegetarians because they don’t like the taste of meat, are against mistreatment of animals, believe animals deserve to be treated like humans, or for health reasons.

 

Studying at university

Can start at 0900 and finish at 1800, but unusual to have lessons all day.

Lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions are different.

Socialising at university: clubs and societies

Examples of clubs: caving; hiking; kung fu; kite-surfing; athletics; French; maths; chemistry

Joining clubs relevant to you is one of the best ways to meet new friends at university.

 

Music

Genres

Pop (popular)

Rock

Dance

World

Rob likes classic rock, for example David Bowie, Led Zepellin and Dire Straits

 

Impressions

Means talking like other people (normally celebrities)

Rob impersonating David Tennant (Scottish actor)

Rob impersonating David Attenborough (English wildlife presenter)

Rob impersonating Lloyd Grossman (British-American television presenter)

British introductions and greetings (featuring special guest star)

 

In this lesson I, Chris, and my brother, Rob, (special guest star) discuss common introductions and greetings in British English, giving brief example conversations.

Please see notes below. Suggestion by Mojtaba.

 

 

Introductions

Nice to meet you

Good to meet you

Pleased to meet you

A pleasure to meet you

(It’s) a pleasure

How do you do?

What do you do? (What is your job?)

 

Shaking hands

We shake hands the first time we meet someone but not after. If you are meeting a friend, you do not shake their hand.

Shaking hands is commonplace in other situations such as finishing a game of sport, like football.

 

Greetings

Formal

Hello

How are you?

Nice / good to see you again

Informal

Hi

How’s it going?

What are you doing?

What’s going on?

What’s new?

Learn British English: films, books, television, radio, music, internet

 

Many people have asked me to recommend material to help them learn British English. In this video I introduce my suggestions which you can find in the list below.

 

 

Films

Harry Potter

James Bond (e.g. Goldeneye)

The King’s Speech

The Iron Lady

The Queen

 

Books

Lord of the Rings

Chronicles of Narnia

Dark Materials

Books by Jane Austen

Books by Charles Dickens

Harry Potter

Poetry: Shakespeare; William Blake; John Donne; John Keats

 

Television

Soaps: Eastenders; Coronation Street; Emmerdale

The Office (UK)

My family; Dad’s Army; Only Fools and Horses (comedies)

Luther

Search on Youtube for any of the above and you can find full episodes.

 

Radio

BBC World Service

BBC Radio 4

BBC Five Live

 

Music

Beatles

Rolling Stones

Dire Straits

Oasis

Coldplay

Adele

 

Youtube

Search for “[Song title] with lyrics”

Watch / listen to videos on this channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CCProse#g/u

 

Internet

British Council

BBC

Busuu

Livemocha

Learn English as easy as pie on Facebook

British English accent training lesson 27: Internet and social networking

 

In this lesson I discuss English vocabulary about the Internet and social networking, including Facebook and similar websites.

 

 

Browsers

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer

 

Search engines

Google

Bing

Yahoo

 

Key preposition: to be “on” a website

If you are describing your online activity, you must say you are “on” a particular website.

“Register” to a website the first time you create an account.

“Login”, “logon”, “sign in” or “sign on” each time you visit that website.

“Logoff”, “sign off” each time you leave the website.

 

Common online acronyms

Please see a visual explaining what common acronyms such as “omg” mean here:

http://learnbritishenglish.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/common-online-acronyms-in-english/

 

Verbs to describe online activity

“Post” something – describe when you publish anything on a blog, Facebook or similar website. Can be a message, photo, status update and more.

“Google” something – you search for it using Google.

“Facebook” someone – you contact someone using Facebook.

“Tweet” someone / something – you post something on Twitter.

“Skype” someone – contact someone using Skype.

 

More language information

Put “cyber-“ in front of words to indicate they apply to the internet, e.g. “cyberpsychology”, “cyberbullying”.

This is an example of a study of cyberpsychology:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21699305

Change in behaviour / “netiquette”: http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/08/25/do-we-need-a-social-netiquette-upgrade/

“Cyberbully” full movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id5eMH9hyMY

BBC – “How the Internet is changing English”:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20332763

 

Social networks / social media

A “social network” and “social networking” describes the use of websites where people interact online, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, WordPress.

 

Communicating online (chatting)

We often use the verb “chat” to describe a lot of communication on the internet, whether it is typing in Facebook chat or speaking using a microphone on Skype.

 

Facebook

Your personal page is called your “profile page”. The bit where you can see what people have written to you is called your “wall”.

A film called “The Social Network” shows some ideas about how Facebook was created.

You can “poke” your “friends”.

You can “message” people. (“Message” is used as a verb.)

Learn English on Facebook:

British Council

Livemocha

Learn English as easy as pie

 

Twitter

If you post something on Twitter, you “tweet”.

“Tweet” is also the noun for the message that you post.

You can “direct message” users. (“Direct message” is used as a verb.)

 

WordPress and Tumblr blogs

A “blog” is a website where someone publishes things. (Usually pieces of writing about themselves.)

Bloggers post about their interests, news, using writing, photos, music.

 

Language websites

Busuu

Livemocha

Interpals

Flashcard websites

 

List of popular websites

Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

WordPress

Flickr

Reddit

Google+

LinkedIn

Busuu

Livemocha

Interpals

British English accent training lesson 26: more verbs

 

In this lesson I discuss the British English accent and pronunciation of many more common verbs, including modal verbs and irregular verbs. Please see the notes below.

 

 

Modal verbs

Can

Could

May

Might

Will

Would

Shall

Should

 

Get used to making a soft “z” sound for the third person singular verb conjugations (ending in “s”).

 

Irregular verbs

 

Begin

Third person singular: begins

Past simple: began

Past participle: begun

 

Choose

Third person singular: chooses

Past simple: chose

Past participle: chosen

 

Come

Third person singular: comes

Past simple: came

Past participle: come

 

Cut

Third person singular: cuts

Past simple: cut

Past participle: cut

 

Drive

Third person singular: drives

Past simple: drove

Past participle: driven

 

Eat

Third person singular: eats

Past simple: ate

Past participle: eaten
Feel

Third person singular: feels

Past simple: felt

Past participle: felt

 

Find

Third person singular: finds

Past simple: found

Past participle: found

 

Give

Third person singular: gives

Past simple: gave

Past participle: given

 

Hear

Third person singular: hears

Past simple: heard

Past participle: heard

 

Know

Third person singular: knows

Past simple: knew

Past participle: known

 

Lose

Third person singular: loses

Past simple: lost

Past participle: lost

 

Make

Third person singular: makes

Past simple: made

Past participle: made

 

Meet

Third person singular: meets

Past simple: met

Past participle: met

 

Put

Third person singular: puts

Past simple: put

Past participle: put

 

Say

Third person singular: says

Past simple: said

Past participle: said

 

See

Third person singular: sees

Past simple: saw

Past participle: seen

 

Sit

Third person singular: sits

Past simple: sat

Past participle: sat

 

Speak

Third person singular: speaks

Past simple: spoke

Past participle: spoken

 

Spend

Third person singular: spends

Past simple: spent

Past participle: spent

 

Take

Third person singular: takes

Past simple: took

Past participle: taken

 

Tell

Third person singular: tells

Past simple: told

Past participle: told

 

Think

Third person singular: thinks

Past simple: thought

Past participle: thought

 

Understand

Third person singular: understands

Past simple: understood

Past participle: understood

 

Win

Third person singular: wins

Past simple: won

Past participle: won

 

Write

Third person singular: writes

Past simple: wrote

Past participle: written

 

Common verbs

 

Look

Third person singular: looks

Past simple: looked

Past participle: looked

 

Want

Third person singular: wants

Past simple: wanted

Past participle: wanted

 

Give

Third person singular: gives

Past simple: gave

Past participle: given

 

Use

Third person singular: uses

Past simple: used

Past participle: used

 

Find

Third person singular: finds

Past simple: found

Past participle: found

 

Ask

Third person singular: asks

Past simple: asked

Past participle: asked

 

Work

Third person singular: works

Past simple: worked

Past participle: worked

British English accent training lesson 25: common verbs

 

In this lesson I discuss the British English accent, pronunciation and use of some of the most common English verbs. Please see notes and resources below.

 

 

Auxiliary Verbs
The three most common auxiliary verbs are: do, be, and have.

 

Do

Does

Did

Done

 

Be

Am

Are

Is

Was

Were

Been

 

Have

Has

Had

 

Get used to making a soft “z” sound for the third person singular verb conjugations (ending in “s”).

 

Love

Loves

Loved

 

Like

Likes

Liked

 

Read

Reads

Read (different pronunciation)

 

Speak

Speaks

Spoke

Spoken

 

Write

Writes

Wrote

Written

 

Bring

Brings

Brought

 

Buy

Buys

Bought

 

Go

Goes

Went

Gone

 

Get

Gets

Got

 

Modal Verbs
All the auxiliary verbs except be, do and have are called modals. Unlike other auxiliary verbs modals only exist in their helping form; they cannot act alone as the main verb in a sentence. Be, do, and have also differ from the other auxiliaries in that they can also serve as ordinary verbs in a given sentence. We use them to show obligation, possibility and necessity.
The modal verbs are:
Can

Could

May

Might

Will

Would

Shall

Should

Sound more polite – examples

“Can / could you open the window, please?”

“Would you like to go out with me?”

“Would you like to give me your email address?”

“May I have a glass of water, please?”

“Do you want to do it, or shall I?”

“Do you want to do it, or should I?”

British accent training video: questions and answers

 

In this lesson I help you construct questions and discuss ways to answer politely in British English, giving numerous examples. Please see my notes, below.

 

Questions

Inversions

“What will you do?”

“What are you doing?”

“What have you done?”

“What is she doing tonight?”

Using “do”

“What do you do?”

“What do you want?”

“Don’t you want to do that?”

“Do you want me to do that?”

“You want me to do that, do you?”

Using “please”

I suggest you use “please” with every question in British English. If not, you might be considered rude.

“Can I have a beer, please?”

“Please can we see the menu?”

Modal verbs

Can; could; would; may; shall (will); should (obligation)

Sound more polite

“Can / could you open the window, please?”

“Would you like to go out with me?”

“Would you like to give me your email address?”

“May I have a glass of water, please?”

“Do you want to do it, or shall I?”

“Do you want to do it, or should I?”

Confirming

“You do want that, don’t you?”

“I speak with a British accent, don’t I?”

“I’m English, aren’t I?”

Negative questions

“Won’t you come tonight?”

“You haven’t done it, have you?”

“Why didn’t you do that?”

“Why haven’t you done that (yet)?”

Learning English questions

“What does (that) mean?”

“How do you say…in English?”

“What’s the word / expression for…in English?”

“Can you repeat that, please?”
“Can you say that again, please?”

“Sorry?”

 

British answers and thanks

Always use “please”, “thank you” or “thanks”

Saying “yes”

“Yes, please.”

“Yes, thanks.”

“That’ll be fine, thank you.” (means “yes)

“That’s grand, cheers for that.” (British slang)

“OK, cheers.”

“Thanks ever so.”

“Ta muchly.”

“Nice one, thanks.”

“Cheers, that’s very kind of you.”

Saying “no”

“No, thanks.”

“I’m fine, thanks.” (means “no”)

“It’s ok, cheers.”

“That’s ok, thanks.”

“That’s all right, thank you.”

Neither “yes” or “no”

“Maybe.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I’m not bothered.”

“(It’s) up to you.”

British accent training: hello and goodbye

 

In this lesson I advise of many informal ways to say “hello” and “goodbye” in contemporary English, focusing on the British accent and pronunciation. Please see notes below.

 

“Hello”

Hello

Hi

Hey

Hey up

Heya

Hiya

All right?

What’s up?

What’s going on?

 

“Goodbye”

Goodbye

Bye

Bye for now

Bye bye

See you later

See you soon

See you

Later

Laters

Cheers

Cheerio

Ta-ra

Toodaloo

In a bit

In a while

Take care

Have fun

 

Compiled expressions

Hello, how are you?

Hi, how are you?

Heya, what’s up?

Hiya, what’s going on?

Cheers, see ya

See you later

In a bit, have fun

British English intonation and stress: how to ask questions

 

In this lesson I practise of British English pronunciation when asking questions using the following example: “Would you like dinner later?” Please see below.

 

Stress on “would”

Questioner might be checking if they want to eat with them, or want to eat at all.

 

Stress on “you”

Questioner could be talking to a group of different people, or asking specifically if the other person wants to.

 

Stress on “like”

Focusing on whether other person actually wants dinner later.

 

Stress on “dinner”

Questioner may offer other activities if response is negative.

 

Stress on “later”

Asking whether other person wants dinner later or sooner (i.e. now).

 

Useful questions

What’s your name?

Hi, what’s your name?

What do you do? (What is your job?)

Hi, what do you do?

How old are you? (Intrigued.)

Where are you from?

Which country are you from?

I’m from England. Which country are you from?

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