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  • You've told me one of your favorite exercises is a Ben Franklin exercise,

  • where we study everything about American English pronunciation,

  • to help you improve your listening comprehension and understand how to sound more American.

  • So today, we're going to do a Ben Franklin exercise on a monologue about going out to dinner.

  • First, we'll listen to the full monologue, then there will be an in-depth analysis after that.

  • You study everything about stress, reductions, and linking.

  • There will be a listen and repeat section.

  • This is where you get to practice out loud and see if you can imitate what I've done.

  • First, the monologue.

  • Tonight, David and I are going out to dinner with two friends, a double-date.

  • We both got sitters and we got a reservation at Park at six forty-five.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • They have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it, but it's worth every minute.

  • It's going to be so great to enjoy a nice meal catching up with these friends.

  • Now, the analysis.

  • Tonight David and I are going out to dinner with two friends, a double date.

  • Tonight David and I are going out to dinner.

  • Tonight.

  • I stress that, the time, when this was gonna happen.

  • David and I, a little bit longer, going out to dinner, go, a little bit longer,

  • din, a little bit longer, with two friends, two, I stressed that, I bring the pitch of my voice up,

  • two friends, friends, a little bit longer.

  • Tonight David and I are going out to dinner with two friends.

  • Tonight David and I are going out to dinner with two friends.

  • Tonight David and I are going out to dinner with two friends.

  • And the rest of the words are said pretty quickly.

  • Please notice the word 'tonight' is pronounced with a schwa in the first syllable.

  • So many people pronounce that: to-- tonight, today, tomorrow, but they're all: te, te, just the T and the schwa.

  • To-- tonight, tonight.

  • Tonight, tonight, tonight.

  • The second T is a stop T because it's followed by a word that begins with a consonant, that would be David.

  • Tonight, David--

  • Tonight David and I are--

  • Tonight David and I are--

  • Tonight David and I are--

  • David and I.

  • Now whenever we have two things that were putting together with 'and', it's very common

  • to reduce the word 'and' which I did, I changed, the vowel to the schwa and we drop the D.

  • And, David and I, David and I.

  • And then the N links right into the next word which is the AI as in buy diphthong.

  • David and I.

  • David and I.

  • David and I

  • David and I

  • David and I

  • The word 'are'.

  • David and I are.

  • 'Are' is more like rr--.

  • David and I are.

  • David and I are going out.

  • Rrrrr--

  • Said more quickly.

  • David and I are going out.

  • David and I are going out.

  • David and I are going out.

  • I'm going to put a little bit more length on 'out' as well.

  • Out to dinner.

  • So here we have two Ts and I combined those with just one true T.

  • Out to, out to.

  • So a stop and then a release.

  • Out to dinner.

  • And the word 'to' is reduced.

  • We use the schwa instead of the OO vowel so it's not 'to' it's 'te'.

  • Out to dinner.

  • Are going out to dinner.

  • Are going out to dinner.

  • Are going out to dinner with two friends.

  • The word 'with' said very quickly.

  • With, with, with, with, with.

  • So the TH is made very simply here.

  • It's very fast.

  • With two, with two.

  • Now here, TWO is pronounced with the OO vowel and this word never reduces,

  • unlike this word which is pronounced with the OO vowel, which almost always reduces.

  • So it's actually the schwa instead of the OO vowel.

  • With two friends, with two friends.

  • With two friends, a double date.

  • A double date.

  • A double date.

  • With a stop T.

  • So we have the word 'a' with a schwa, a, a, a double date.

  • And in this thought group, these three words are very linked together.

  • We have an unstressed syllable, then a stressed syllable, then an unstressed syllable, and a stressed syllable.

  • Da-da, da-da, a double date.

  • A double date.

  • A double date.

  • A double date.

  • A double date.

  • We both got sitters.

  • We both got sitters.

  • Both and sit are the most stressed word there.

  • Sitters. The double T there is a flap T,

  • that's short for a babysitter, someone to watch our kids.

  • We both got sitters.

  • The T in got, a stop T.

  • Why?

  • Because the next word begins with a consonant.

  • We both got sitters.

  • We both got sitters.

  • We both got sitters.

  • We both got sitters and we got a reservation at park at six forty-five.

  • And we got a reservation at park at six forty-five.

  • Park, probably the most stressed word in that whole sentence.

  • The word 'and' reduces, did you hear that?

  • I dropped the T.

  • And we got our reservation at--

  • And we got our reservation at--

  • And we got our reservation at--

  • And we got a reservation, and we got a, and we got a, and we got a.

  • Dropped the D, the T here turned into a flap to connect the words, linking right into the schwa,

  • got a, and we got a, and we got a, and we got a.

  • Those four words are all flatter in pitch.

  • They're unstressed, and they all link together.

  • And we got a reservation.

  • The stressed syllable of 'res' is a little bit longer, a little bit clearer.

  • Reservation. Notice the letter S here makes the Z sound.

  • Rezzzz, reservation.

  • And we got a reservation at Park at six forty-five.

  • And we got a reservation at Park at six forty-five.

  • And we got a reservation at park at six forty-five.

  • So I have the word 'at' twice.

  • Both times, it's reduced.

  • It's not the AH vowel but it's the schwa, and it's a stop T, at park, at park at six forty-five.

  • At, at, at, at, at, at.

  • So it's not at but: at, at, at.

  • Both times it's a stop T because the next word begins with a consonant.

  • Here, it's a P, and here, it's the S sound.

  • At park at six forty-five.

  • At park at six forty-five.

  • At park at six forty-five.

  • Six forty-five.

  • Six forty-five.

  • Whenever you're giving a time, it's the end of the time, the last part of the time that's stressed.

  • So forty-five.

  • If I was going to say, let's say this, then I would say: seven thirty, and the final word 'thirty'

  • would be the most stressed.

  • Here, the final word is 'five' so it's: six forty-five, 'five' being the most stressed.

  • Six forty-five

  • Six forty-five

  • Six forty-five

  • And notice the T in 'forty' is a flap T.

  • We flap the T if it comes after an R before a vowel.

  • Forty, forty.

  • Six forty-five.

  • Six forty-five.

  • Six forty-five.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I stress the word 'already' the most.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • This is a little unusual. I'm stressing it because

  • we haven't even arrived at the restaurant and I've already chosen what I'm gonna eat.

  • So that's why 'already' is coming out the most.

  • Now this word is normally stressed.

  • Already.

  • I already know.

  • But sometimes, we do stress the first syllable.

  • I already know.

  • I already knew that.

  • I already know.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I pronounce this word without an L.

  • Already. Already.

  • It's like a tighter AW as in law vowel.

  • Already.

  • I already know.

  • You can do this as well.

  • I think it simplifies the word for non-native speakers and it's a good little shortcut to that word.

  • Already.

  • Already.

  • I already know.

  • I already know.

  • I already know.

  • I think I also make 'know' a little bit longer.

  • Know what I'm.

  • Know what I'm.

  • Know what I'm.

  • What and I'm, both flattened, said faster, not as clear.

  • Flap T connecting the two words.

  • Know what I'm, know what I'm.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I already know what I'm going to get.

  • I definitely could have said: what I'm gonna get, gonna, gonna, gonna.

  • 'Going to' is such a good candidate for getting reduced.

  • Gonna.

  • But instead, I said: going to get, going to get, going.

  • So I did a full OH as in no diphthong.

  • Going.

  • Then I made a flap T.

  • And we make a flap T in the word 'to' quite a bit when the sound before is voiced.

  • And here, it's the NG sound that is voiced, so rather than saying: going to, I said: going, going.

  • So my tongue is in position for the NG.

  • That's the back of the tongue and then the front of the tongue flaps.

  • Going to get.

  • Going to get.

  • Stop T at the end of 'get', why?

  • Because it's at the end of a thought group.

  • Going to get.

  • Going to get.

  • Going to get.

  • Going to get.

  • They have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • Okay I really stress the word 'best', don't I?

  • They have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • Ever.

  • They have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • They have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • They have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • They have the, they have the, they have the.

  • These three words, a little less clear, flatter in pitch, and then I bring out the word 'best',

  • and I emphasize the B and I move my head as I say the word to say: This is an important word, it is the best.

  • They have the best, they have the best, they have the best French onion soup I've ever had.

  • Soup I've ever had.

  • So I noticed I closed my lips for the P, but I don't really release.

  • Soup, soup.

  • You don't hear that escape of air right into the next word 'I've'.

  • Soup I've ever had.

  • Soup I've ever had.

  • So there was no release of the P there.

  • Soup.

  • P is a stop consonant.

  • Soup I've ever had.

  • Soup I've ever had.

  • Soup I've ever had.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it.

  • Those are my two longer most stressed words there.

  • I emphasize the H. I make it a little stronger than normal to bring out the stressed word.

  • Let's look at this phrase.

  • I don't know.

  • There are several ways we can pronounce that.

  • We can say: I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.

  • That's the most conversational, the least clear.

  • That's not how I do it, and make it a little bit more clear.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it.

  • I don't know how long it takes them to make it.

  • I don't know.

  • I don't know.

  • I don't know.