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  • Rachel: Thanks for studying with me today guys. I

  • have a real treat. We're going to do another Learn English with TV lesson. In this video

  • we're taking a little clip from 'Grey's Anatomy'. Now in this scene, one of the characters is

  • apologizing. Have you ever had to apologize for something? We'll study how she does it

  • and then of course we'll also study all the ins and outs of pronunciation. Reductions,

  • stress, things like flap Ts. By studying this way, a full in depth analysis, it will really

  • help you with your listening comprehension when it comes to TV, movies or real life and

  • it will also help you sound more natural when speaking American English. It's amazing what

  • we can learn by studying even just a small bit of conversation.

  • Do you watch 'Grey's Anatomy'? I used to watch it back when I was more of a TV watcher and

  • I was really surprised when I went online to look for scenes and I found it is still

  • going on! I think it's like the 15th season or something. So I call this kind of exercise

  • a Ben Franklin exercise. It starts with us just watching the scene then together we'll

  • do the full pronunciation analysis. I'll make sure you understand everything that's happening

  • and how things are being pronounced. Let's go ahead and get started with the scene.

  • Girl 1: I'm sorry. Girl 2: I just saw Meredith. Jackson left

  • without talking to you? He just left? Girl 1: I wish I could blame this on him but

  • I told Link about you before I even knew. Girl 2: Jackson left?

  • Girl 1: I was really kind of awful to Owen. I was really... I was really awful

  • to Owen.

  • Girl 2: Jackson left.

  • And now, the analysis.

  • Girl 1: I'm sorry.

  • Rachel: I am sorry. She uses the contraction 'I'm'

  • which would be written in IPA with the AI diphthong, I'm. But she doesn't really say "I" does she?

  • like mm, mm, mm sorry, mm sorry.

  • Girl 1: I'm sorry.

  • Rachel: I've definitely noticed this before in the

  • I AM contraction. People will take just the M sound and link it on the next word. msorry,

  • msorry. Try that.

  • Girl 1: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

  • Rachel: So it's short little 2 word thought group

  • and the stressed syllable is sorr. Mmsorrry. And then the voice falls in pitch as it comes

  • off that stressed syllable. There are no skips or jumps. Everything is smoothly connected.

  • Mmsorry, mmsorrry. The ending unstressed syllable. Just a really quick E as in SHE vowel -y, -y.

  • Mm sorry.

  • Girl 1: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Girl 2: I just saw Meredith.

  • Rachel: Okay then we have a 4-word thought group.

  • I just saw Meredith. What are the stressed syllables there?

  • Girl 2: I just saw Meredith.

  • Rachel: I just saw Meredith. Just and Mer are the

  • most stressed syllables there. Now, "saw" is a verb and that's a content word those are

  • sometimes stressed but in a sentence with multiple content words, they're not all going

  • to have the same stress. And I would say "saw", even though it's not reduced or anything like

  • that, it is lower in pitch compared to the other stressed syllables. I just saw Meredith.

  • All linked together. Smooth pitch changes, no skips, no breaks.

  • What about this T? How does she pronounce that?

  • Girl 2: I just saw Meredith.

  • Rachel: She drops it. It's common to drop the T between

  • two consonants. So here it comes between S and S. And so actually these two words link

  • together with just a single S sound. Just saw, just saw, just saw.

  • Girl 2: I just saw, I just saw, I just saw Meredith.

  • Rachel: I'm going to stop here for a minute guys because

  • I have something important to tell you really quick. If you would like this kind of analysis,

  • I'm going to do 11 videos in a row starting June 18. It's the summer of blockbuster movies.

  • We're going to be learning English with movies and I'm going to make and extra free audio

  • lesson to go with each video lesson. If you want that, you'll have to sign up. I'm not going

  • to bombard people with emails so I only want to send people these free downloadable audio

  • lessons if you want them. So if you want to study English movies this summer follow this

  • link here or in the video description below. Pass it on to your friends, we're going to

  • be doing this together, it's going to be so fun, I cannot wait to spend my summer with

  • you. Okay now, back to this analysis. Girl 2: I just saw Meredith.

  • Rachel: Meredith. Merrredith. Make sure your tongue

  • is not flapping for the R in "Meredith" or "sorry". The tongue never flaps for the R in American

  • English so it does not bounce against the roof of your mouth. It should be pulled back

  • a little bit. The tip is pulled back a little bit within the mouth. It's not touching anything.

  • Sorrry. Merrredith. And then the 2 unstressed syllables are lower in pitch. Edith, edith,

  • edith. And then they have a different feeling, a different shape than 'Mer' which has that

  • up-down shape. Now this does end in an unvoiced th sound, tongue tip does come through the teeth

  • for that, Meredith. That can be a tricky sound for some people.

  • Girl 2: Meredith. Meredith. Meredith. Jackson left without talking to you?

  • Rachel: Stressed syllables? The stressed syllable

  • of the name. Jackson left without talking to you? And the pitch goes up in the end because

  • it's a yes/no question. And that is usually how we deal with the intonation with a yes/no question.

  • It's how we show it's a yes/no question.

  • Jackson left without talking to you? It's different than "Jackson left without talking to you."

  • Pitch goes down, that's a statement. Here, pitch goes up, it's a question.

  • Girl 2: Jackson left without talking to you? Jackson left without talking to you? Jackson

  • left without talking to you?

  • Rachel: The letter o here is the schwa son-Jackson,

  • Jackson, son, son, son. So you'll say that quickly with no jaw drop. Don't try to make

  • a vowel there. Just s into n sound. Son, the schwa will happen on it's own. Schwa gets

  • absorbed by the n. Now what about this T? I said we usually drop the T when it comes between

  • two consonants. Here's the F consonant and here's the W consonant. How does she pronounce

  • that?

  • Girl 2: Jackson left without...

  • Rachel: She does release it with a very light true

  • T. So even these rules we usually do this, they're not always. There's always some exception

  • that some will make. So she articulates that T.

  • Girl 2: Jackson left without, Jackson left without, Jackson left without talking to you?

  • Rachel: Ta without Ta. We have a word that ends in

  • a T the next word begins in a T in these cases we link with a single T. And it is a true

  • T. This T starts a stressed syllable and when every T starts a stressed syllable that's

  • not part of the TR cluster, it is a true T.

  • Girl 2: Without talking to you? Without talking to you? Without talking to you?

  • Rachel: Without talking, without talking. Now are

  • you noticing what's happening here? It's not talking with the ng consonant. She drops the

  • ng consonant and instead makes it an n consonant. Talkin', talkin', talkin', talkin' to you?

  • Girl 2: Talkin' to you? talkin' to you? talkin' to you?

  • Rachel: Talking to. So she says talkin'. But then

  • what does she do with to? How is this word pronounced? Fully pronounced it would have

  • the true T and the U vowel. But what do you hear?

  • Girl 2: Talkin' to you? talkin' to you? talkin' to you?

  • Rachel: Talkin. Talkin. It's actually reduced to just

  • the schwa sound. So sometimes we'll make it a true T. Tu, tu. And then the schwa. We do

  • that when the sound before is unvoiced. Sometimes we make it a flap T. Talkin' to, talkin to.

  • to to to to. The tongue bounces against the roof of the mouth. And I have noticed sometimes

  • when it comes after an n, the T sound is dropped altogether and it becomes just a schwa that

  • links the word together. So she straight goes from the N sound into the schwa and then right

  • into the JU diphthong. Talking to you, talking to you. Reductions like this, reductions and

  • linking. It's just everywhere in spoken American English practically every sentence.

  • Girl 2: Talkin' to you? talkin' to you? talkin' to you?

  • He just left?

  • Rachel: He just left? He just left? What do you

  • think is the stressed syllable in that thought group?

  • Girl 2: He just left?

  • Rachel: He just... flatter in pitch. Left? That's where

  • we get more energy in the voice. And it does go up again because again, it's a yes/no question.

  • That makes it different from a statement. He just left. He just left? "He" and "just": unclear,

  • lower in pitch, lower in volume and what happens to this T?

  • Girl 2: He just left? He just left? He just left?

  • Rachel: It's totally dropped. Comes between two consonants,

  • the S sound links right to the L sound. He just, he just, he just, he just. See how simply

  • you can make that. You don't want to use a lot of mouth movement because they're unstressed

  • words, you want to say them quickly so we simplify things. He just, he just, he just.

  • Girl 2: He just left? He just left? He just left?

  • Rachel: He just left? And then we do have a very light

  • release of a true T here. We often release a true T when it's in a cluster. Here it's

  • in an ft cluster, unless it links to another word. Here it's in the end of a thought group.

  • So that will generally be released with a light t sound.

  • Girl 2: Left? Left? Left?

  • Girl 1: I wish I could blame this on him but I told Link about you before I even knew.

  • Rachel: That's a long thought group. There's a little

  • bit of a lift here. Maybe between where I put the comma for grammatical purposes. But

  • it's a lot of words. Let's look at the first chunk. What do you think are the stressed

  • syllables there? Girl 1: I wish I could blame this on him,

  • I wish I could blame this on him, I wish I could blame this on him..

  • Rachel: I...wish I could blame this on him. And the

  • pitch going up signals I'm not done talking, there is more I would like to say. Remember

  • these stressed syllables, these longer syllables, are our anchors in the sentence and we need

  • those clearer stressed syllables in contrast to the unstressed syllables that are said

  • much more quickly, much more simply.

  • Girl 1: I wish I could blame this on him...

  • Rachel: So I is lower in vocal energy, lower in pitch

  • I, I, I wish. I wish I. I could, I could, I could. These words also unstressed, lower

  • in pitch, lower in energy.

  • Girl 1: I wish I could, I wish I could, I wish I could blame this on him..

  • Rachel: This and on also unstressed, less clear. This

  • TH is really unclear. It's unvo.. it's voiced. And the voiced TH in an unstressed word can

  • be made without the tongue tip coming through. Blame this, this, this, this. It just touches

  • behind the bottom or actually both the bottom and top teeth in the front. This, this, this,

  • this. Doesn't have to come all the way through. But I almost feel like she drops it. That's

  • how unclear it is. Blame this, blame this, blame this on him? blame this... So you could

  • try it with a very very light TH or you could try it dropping it, and linking it in, and see

  • how that sounds.

  • Girl 1: I wish I could, I wish I could, I wish I could blame this on him...

  • Rachel: On him, on him... We sometimes drop the H in

  • him. She doesn't. The S goes right into the AW vowel. On him. And then the N goes right

  • into the H, everything smoothly linked together.

  • Girl 1: On him, on him, on him but I told Link about you before I even knew.

  • Rachel: But I told Link about you before I even knew. I think those are the most stressed

  • syllables in the 2nd half of this thought group. Everything linked together so smoothly.

  • But I, but I but I but I but I but I. The T becomes a flap T between two vowels or vowels

  • and diphthongs. That's what happens here. We have the uh vowel, the AI diphthong, that's

  • a flap T and it links the word smoothly But I, but I. Here it's beginning, the T is beginning

  • a stressed syllable so it's a true T. But I told. I told. I told, I told. Right from

  • the AI diphthong into the T sound, no brake.

  • Girl 1: But I told, but I told, but I told Link about

  • you before I even knew.

  • Rachel: So we have L,D,L. I don't know that I would

  • say she drops the D but it's very very subtle and I think you could drop the D. I told Link,

  • I told Link, I told Link. I think you could probably get away with that.

  • Girl 1: But I told, but I told, but I told Link about

  • you before I even knew.

  • Rachel: Link about, Link about, k k k. Ending K link

  • right on to the next sound the schwa. Link, k k k. Link about, link about.

  • Girl 1: Link about you.

  • Rachel: About you, about. Stop T, about you. So a

  • little lift there to signify the stop .This, the break in sound. Signifies the stop T.

  • Now another common way to pronounce a word that ends in T followed by U is a ch, about

  • you, about you. Have you ever heard that? She doesn't do that. She makes a quick stop

  • T about you, about you

  • Girl 1: About you, about you, about you before I even knew.

  • Rachel: Before I even knew. A little bit of length

  • also on the stressed syllable before. Before I. Smoothly linked together. I even. Sometimes

  • when we have a word that ends in a vowel diphthong. Here it's the AI diphthong and a word that

  • begins in a vowel diphthong. Here it's the E vowel. People want to put a little brake

  • there. Restart their voice because they feel like linking two vowel sounds is too unclear

  • but we wouldn't do that. We would say I even, I even.

  • Girl 1: Before I even, before I even, before I even.

  • Rachel: Listen to how she links I and even

  • Girl 1: Before I even, before I even, before I even.

  • Rachel: Really smooth. And then here we have the ending

  • N sound. Even knew. Beginning N sound linked together with the single sound. So, I just

  • really want to stress how smooth everything is. Before I even knew.

  • Girl 1: Before I even knew.

  • Girl 2: Jackson left?

  • Rachel: And she asks her question again, Jackson

  • left? And it goes up because again she's asking it as a yes/no question. Jackson left? And

  • a very light release of a true T there.

  • Girl 2: Jackson left? Jackson left? Jackson left?

  • Girl 1: I was really kind of awful to Owen.

  • I was really...

  • Rachel: Again a longer thought group, starts really

  • quietly. And I was, and I was, and I was...

  • Girl 1: And I was, and I was, and I was really kind

  • of awful to Owen.

  • Rachel: Then we have a little bit more volume on "really",

  • which is more stressed here. And I was really.

  • Girl 1: And I was really...

  • Rachel: And I was. All unstressed, very soft. The

  • word "and" gets pronounced just as schwa n. And I, and I, and I. Links right into the

  • AI diphthong, links right into the word 'was' which was actually pronounced 'was'. Was,

  • was, was, was. Very fast. Reduced with a schwa. Let's practice just those 3 words together.

  • And I was, and I was, and I was, and I was. So if you're trying to fully pronounce everything

  • and say 'and I was', It's going to sound really different isn't it? And I was, and I was,

  • and I was. That makes the anchor of the stressed syllable really a little bit more clearer.

  • Girl 1: And I was really, and I was really, and I

  • was really kind of awful to Owen.

  • Rachel: Really kind of awful to Owen. And again pitch

  • goes up, she's not done talking, she keeps right on going.

  • Girl 1: Really kind of awful to Owen, really kind

  • of awful to Owen, really kind of awful to Owen. I was really...

  • Rachel: I was really. Again, big time "was" reduction.

  • Was, was, was, was, I was, I was, I was really.

  • Girl 1: I was really, I was really, I was really...

  • Rachel: Kind of. How does she pronounce that? She

  • drops the D sound kinda, kinda. nd she changes the whole word of to just the schwa. Kinda,

  • kinda, kinda. It would not be weird to make the D sound kinda, kinda. I think that's actually

  • more common to pronounce the D and then link it to the schwa, but it's unstressed, it's

  • low in pitch, it's got less energy. And she does drop that D. Kinda, kinda, kinda.

  • Girl 1: Kind of awful, kind of awful, kind of awful to Owen.