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  • When someone is speaking to you and you don’t understand what he has said,

  • it can be hard to ask for clarification.

  • But understanding is important.

  • So in this American English pronunciation video, I’m going to give you various phrases

  • people use to ask people to repeat themselves.

  • When I’ve lived abroad, learning how to sayWhat?’ politely was one of the first things I did.

  • When it’s your second language and youre speaking to a native speaker, of course youre

  • going to need to ask for clarification often.

  • Well, the simplest, quickest way to ask someone to repeat himself is just to saywhat’?

  • It’s not impolite, but it’s best to use this with people you know.

  • With people you don’t know, or people you have a formal relationship with,

  • like your boss, there are more polite phrases you can use.

  • But to start, let’s talk aboutWhat?’.

  • Your intonation here is very important.

  • Intonation being the melody of your voice.

  • You must make it go up in pitch at the end.

  • Otherwise, it has a different meaning.

  • What?

  • Curve up.

  • What?

  • Notice I’m putting a Stop T at the end.

  • That’s the way Americans pronounce that: What? What?

  • Stopping the air in the throat, closing the mouth.

  • What?

  • If you make your voice go down in pitch:

  • What.

  • What?

  • What.

  • Then youre saying something likeWhy are you looking at me like that?”.

  • For example, letsay I’m pregnant, which I’m not anymore, and I’m at a restaurant with my husband.

  • I order two entrees, an appetizer, and a dessert and he looks at me like this.

  • I might say, “What. I’m pregnant and I’m starving.”

  • What. With the intonation going down.

  • If youre saying “I didn’t understand what you said,” the intonation goes up:

  • What?

  • What.

  • What?

  • So intonation here is key.

  • What else can you say?

  • A bit more polite would be: Pardon?

  • Or, I beg your pardon?

  • Or, I’m sorry?

  • Notice for all of these, the pitch goes up at the end.

  • Theyre questions, written with question marks.

  • I’m sorry?

  • means “I didn’t understand, please repeat yourself”.

  • I’m sorry.

  • Pitch goes down, is an apology.

  • Let's go over the pronunciation of Pardon? Pardon?

  • We start off with the p consonant, pa-, pa-, pa-.

  • Small burst of air right into the vowel.

  • It’s the AH as in FATHER vowel.

  • Drop your jaw and keep the tongue tip forward before pulling it back for the R. Par-, par-.

  • One mistake non-native speakers make, is they pull the tongue back right away: Prrr- Prrr- Prrr-

  • Paaah - Paaahr- Paaahr-

  • Practice that with me slowly.

  • Par- Pardon?

  • What’s happening to the letter O?

  • It makes the schwa sound here, and it’s disappearing into the N.

  • You want to do this. It sounds more American. Pardon?

  • But I’m getting ahead of myself.

  • Pa-, drop the jaw. Par-

  • Pull the tongue back and up for the R. Bring the middle of the tongue towards

  • the middle of the roof of the mouth: Paar-

  • Now, for the D, lift the front of the tongue so it’s against the roof of the mouth.

  • Pardon?

  • You make a D sound in the throat, and then an N.

  • You don’t need to move the tongue for that.

  • Pardon?

  • If it’s easier for you to separate the D and the N, you can flap the tongue against

  • the roof of the mouth quickly for the D, then put it right back up for the N. Pardon? Don-

  • I think it's easier to leave that flap out.

  • You can just leave your tongue in place. Pardon?

  • Pardon?

  • Make sure you make that second syllable very quickly. It's an unstressed syllable.

  • Pardon?

  • I beg your pardon?

  • Most native speakers would blow through: I beg your- I beg your- I beg your pardon?

  • And makepardonthe clear, stressed word.

  • I beg your, I beg your, I beg your - I beg your pardon?

  • There’s less energy and air in the voice.

  • I beg your- Noticeyouris reduced toyer’.

  • I beg yer, I beg yer, I beg your pardon?

  • I’m sorry?

  • You might hear some Americans say this with only the M consonant: M’sorry?

  • The word “I’m” should be pretty fast.

  • For the wordsorry’, the first syllable is a lot like the first syllable ofpardon’.

  • Par-

  • Sor- Sorry?

  • Drop your jaw, then bring the tongue into position for the R: Sorry? Sorry?

  • Just a light EE vowel at the end: -ee, -ee, -ee?

  • I’m sorry?

  • M'sorry?

  • This is the one I use when I need to be more polite.

  • M'sorry?

  • You might also have heardCome again?’

  • This is not too common, it’s a little more quirky to use that.

  • Come again?

  • What does the pitch do?

  • It goes up: Come again?

  • I useWhat?” most of the time, and “I’m sorry?” with people I don’t know.

  • This is if I didn’t understand a word or a sentence.

  • But if there’s more I didn’t understand, if someone’s been talking for several seconds

  • and I’m trying to figure out what theyre saying but can’t, for example, on the phone

  • with a bad connection, then I might say something more.

  • For example, “I didn’t understand. Could you repeat that?”

  • Statement, then a question.

  • “I didn’t understand. Could you repeat that?”

  • Or, “I didn’t catch that. Can you say it again?”

  • “I didn’t catch thatis an idiom that means I didn’t understand, or I didn’t hear what you said.

  • Literal meaning:

  • I didn't catch that.

  • Idiomatic meaning: What?

  • I hope this video helps.

  • It’s good to prepare phrases to have in certain situations.

  • Memorize and practice the pronunciation of What? And Pardon? Or, I’m sorry?

  • That way, it’s less stressful to use them in the moment.

  • What situations make you nervous that you won’t know what to say?

  • What situations do you wish you had some practiced phrases for?

  • Let me know in the comments below.

  • If youre new to Rachel’s English, welcome.

  • I have over 500 videos to help you speak better American English on my YouTube channel.

  • Click here to visit my channel and subscribe.

  • Or, see this playlist to get started with my videos.

  • The link is also in the description below.

  • And, I have a great ebook – 290 pages with two and a half hours of audio.

  • This book details my method for learning American English pronunciation.

  • It organizes hundreds of my online videos for a path, start to finish, to help you speak

  • beautifully and naturally.

  • Click here or in the description below to purchase a copy.

  • Youll get free updates of the book for life.

  • That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

When someone is speaking to you and you don’t understand what he has said,

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說 "什麼?"的方法- 美式英語要有禮貌 (Ways to say "What?" - Be Polite in American English)

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    劉繼光 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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