English connected speech – listening exercises.

Understanding the rules of connected speech in British English will help with your listening skills when listening to British native speakers. These exercises will reinforce what you have learnt so far about how we use connected speech in British English.

In the previous blog posts, we looked at when H is not pronounced and the words are connected up.   If you want to read those posts again start here.

Look at the following sentence.

Where is he?

Which sounds do you think will not be pronounced?   Which words do you think will be linked up?

Read the sentence out loud multiple times and link the words up, don’t pronounce the h at the beginning of he.

Where is he?

Say the sentence slowly and then repeat it faster and faster so that you have to connect the words together.

The r  of where joins up with is and the H of he disappears.

When you repeat this faster and faster can you hear how the words connect together?

After you have said this phrase out loud, faster and faster, listen to me doing this exercise.

 

You do not need to do this in your own speech but if you want to understand British native speakers when they are chatting informally you need to be able to recognise these pronouns when they don’t pronounce the h  in these words and the word is blended to the previous word.    To give you more practice when natural spoken English  I have made some listening exercises.

Listen to the following sound file and write down what you hear.

Remember.

In informal spoken British English the  h    in pronouns is often not pronounced and the rest of the word joins up with the last consonant of the previous word  eg   Where is he?  sounds like whe-riz-e

Exercise 1

Where is he?  Is he in his office? Jane wants to meet him later.   Tell him to call her when he gets back.

Let’s look at what happens here.

Where is he?

Is he in his office?

Jane wants to meet him later.   Tell him to call her when he gets back.

Exercise 2

Listen to the sound file.  I repeat the same phrase twice.   Write down what you hear.

Did he tell her I’ll meet her later?

Let’s look at what happens here.

Did he tell her I’ll meet her later?

When the h disappears it sounds like:

dide teller I’ll meeter later

Exercise 3

Write down what you can hear in this sound file.

Let me know in the comments which words you can hear.

Would he want to come too?

Let’s look at what happens here.

Would he want to come too?

When the h  of he is not pronounced   Would he    sounds like the name Woody.     Want to  when spoken quickly sounds like wanna.   If you want to read more about this click here.

Exercise 4

Listen to this sound file and write down what you hear.  Let me know in the comments what sounds you can hear.

Tell him I’ll get him a ticket for the football match on Saturday.

You do not need to speak in this way,  but you do need to be able to recognise the sound of these words  when  British speakers do this.

What do you think about these exercises on connected speech?  Are they helpful?

Let me know in the comments.

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