Listening to contractions in English Conversations: city centre phone call.

We use contractions all the time in spoken English.     Can you recognise them in spoken English?




Advanced Listening practice

Here is a listening practice phone call.  You will hear lots of these contractions.   You do not need to use these contractions in your own speech but you do need to recognise them as they are used all the time by native speakers.    If you do use these contractions in your own speech it will make your speech sound more natural.

The story:

Julie has just got off the train and is outside the railway station.   You will hear background noise from the traffic – real life is not usually silent!   It’s a busy city centre.  This is a real life situation.

To get the most use out of the listening practice you need to listen numerous times.   You can download the audio to your phone or other device and listen offline.

1  Listen to the audio file:

How much do you understand?     Why is Julie phoning Jane?  Write down what words you can hear.     Can you write down the directions?

2  Listen numerous times.

If there are parts you can not hear fully write down what you can hear and what the other words sound like.   This will help you later when you look at the transcript.  What sounds can you hear if you can not hear full words?

You can download this sound file here.
3  Finally, listen again reading the transcript at the same time.

Now, look at the parts you did not hear fully.    Why could you not hear these words?   Are they new words you do not know?   Did I pronounce them in a way you did not expect?   Did the words sound like different words?    Let me know in the comments which parts are difficult to hear and I will make new exercises looking at those words.

Hey Jane, Jane…….Can you hear me?   I’m with Paul….. we’re on our way to meet you……….yes, I know we’re late…. I can’t find the restaurant.   It’s not showing up on google maps.    Where is it?

What?  What street is it on?    Well….  We’ve just come out of the station….  the train was late…..We’re right outside the station….OK…. so can you quickly give me directions?  Can you hear me?   Ok   yea,  we’re at the train station….just outside…… where’s the restaurant?

Ok… so we walk down the main road…… right…. there’s a Pizza Hut on the corner,    ok……Paul, remember we’re looking for Pizza Hut….ok  turn left……….go as far as the old Post Office…….yea..     there’s an alleyway at the side….What?   where’s the alleyway?  at the side  ok,…. . and where’s the restaurants? down the alleyway… ok  and there’s seating outside……you’re all sitting outside?  you’re all sitting outside?   ok…. thanks,   thanks….

gosh… we’d never have found it if I hadn’t phoned you….  I didn’t know there was anything down the alleyway…at the back of the Post Office…

Right…. OK we’ll be with you in 10 minutes.      Are  Stuart and Mark with you?   What ?   They’re all there already? We’re the last ones…  Ok we’ll hurry up…..see you in 10….. Get us a drink in…..Bye…

This was a very difficult listening practice.   If you are new to these listening exercises there are lots more exercises on my blog.    Another listening exercise on contractions is here.

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