Connected Speech and Phrasal Verbs in Everyday Spoken English
Audio message 1
Here is a sound file containing me leaving a voice message / answering machine message for you. I am going to analyse this text bit by bit. We are going to look at phrasal verbs, pronunciation and also colloquial expressions.
This first blog post is going to give you listening practice, discuss some pronunciation issues and also introduce a few common phrasal verbs.
Listen to the message without pausing and try and work out what the message is about. Don’t worry if you do not understand everything. By the end of next week we will have examined all of it in detail. Today I want you to understand the overall gist of the message. What is the message about? What do I want you to do? Write down the words you hear. Can your work out what the message is telling you? What do you need to do?
The message is here as an audio file.
Can you answer these questions to check you have understood the telephone message? Give as much detail in the answers as you can.
1 What am I planning?
2 What date is Tom’s birthday?
3 When do I want you to telephone me?
If the telephone message is very hard for you to understand don’t worry. We are going to look at the message in detail this next week and work out why it is hard to understand the meaning.
As well as the speech being fast, the words are connected up AND the caller uses a lot of phrasal verbs and colloquial expressions.
to call someone back
to give someone a ring back
to phone someone back
These phrasal verbs all mean: to telephone someone whose telephone call you have missed or to reply to an answering machine message.
We use the verbs – to call / to ring / to phone
to mean “to telephone someone”. When these verbs are combined with back this means to return the call.
So in the text you heard:
1 Call me back
“….oh you must’ve gone out. Call me back this evening, I need to speak to you urgently.”
Pronunciation of WEAK forms of words.
Listen to how the “must have” is pronounced. The auxiliary verb “have” is contracted to “must’ve” and is hard to hear it. This and To are also weak. To sounds like / t / .
You also heard:
2 Phone me back
I need to speak to you really but I‘ll tell you what I’m planning and you can phone me back.
Did you notice how to is again pronounced as just the / t / sound? I will and I am are both contracted.
And you heard:
3 Give us a ring.
Ok so give us a ring this evening when Tom’s out and I’ll fill you in on the plan.
Did you notice the contraction of I will and Tom is?
Did you notice anything about the pronunciation of these two phrases?
give us a ring giv⤻us⤻ring gi-vusa-ring
I’ll fill you in on the plan. I’ll fill you-w-in-on the plan.
The words are all joined up with connected speech. These are very familiar phrases that are spoken quickly without any gaps.
To fill someone in on something means to update someone on something, to tell them all the latest information about something.
Did you hear any more phrasal verbs in the message?
Let me know in the comments.