Day 8 Reducing THAT THAN THEM Understanding Fast Speech in English




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Hello. It's Day 8. Would you agree that listening is sometimes harder than speaking? I know that it can be a challenge when people talk really fast. English with Jennifer THAN and THAT are two more function words. They're small words and don't carry a lot of content, so we usually reduce those vowel sounds to a weaker sound. A schwa. The schwa sound is that relaxed "uh" /ə/. I asked you if listening is sometimes harder than speaking. "harder than speaking" Instead of fast speech I can say /ðən/. THAT can also be reduced when it's fast an unstressed. I said, "I know that it can be a challenge." Just like THAN became /ðən/, THAT can sound like /ðət/. Note the word THAT could be stressed, so it's not always reduced. For example, I could suggest, "Let's buy that one, not this one. That one." And when it's stressed, we use that full short A sound. /æ/ That one. Pronouns are also function words. THEM is an example of a pronoun. THEM in fast speech could sound more like /ðəm/. I know them. We're reducing the vowel sounds again to a weaker schwa. Not /ðɛm/.../ðəm/. I know them. Here are some examples I can read for you. But first let me ask you... I'll reduce these words in yellow. Listen. Note when we use THAT as a demonstrative, meaning as an adjective or pronoun, it’s usually stressed. Let me make one more note. There’s another way THEM can change in fast speech. Not only can we reduce the vowel to a schwa, we might also drop the TH altogether. So instead of… You may hear people say, “Where do you want to put’em?” Listen closely. I'll say a sentence. You try to understand. That's all for now. Thanks for watching and happy studies!