When you listen to spoken informal English you will hear that we use contractions all the time in informal conversations.
You are, we are, they are. These are rarely pronounced in this full form and are usually contracted. This often makes them hard to hear in spoken English as when contracted they sound very similar to other English words.
Read these sentences out loud using the contracted forms of the verb.
You’re late, get your coat and go.
We’re here, where is our table?
Their train is on time, they’re getting out. They’re there on the platform.
you’re / your
we’re / where
their / they’re / there
Can you hear how there is no difference or just a very small difference between the sounds of these words?
Verbs in the contracted form are often very difficult to hear both for non-native and native speakers. Usually, you can work out what is being said by the context of the sentences. Now you are aware how these words sound when contracted and are aware of other words that sound similar you can practice hearing these words in everyday conversations.
Write down everything that you can hear. After you have listened multiple times, compare what you have written with the transcript and discover what you could not hear. Can you work out why you could not hear those words? Let me know which words you could not hear and I will write a new exercise specifically on that topic.
Hi Jane….ohhh… I wanted to catch up with you…ok well phone me back because I need to tell you where we’re going to meet for the meal tomorrow night…and I just wanted to talk to you about what I’m going to wear…the weather is so changeable..I don’t know what to wear….but I’ll tell you where we’re going to meet. OK bye..