Pronunciation

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Tim's Pronunciation Workshop: Linking /j/

Episode 64 / 19 Jun 2017

Tim
Hi. I'm Tim and this is my Pronunciation workshop. Here I'm going to show you how English is really spoken. Come on, let's go inside. Are you a creature of habit? For example, do you have a routine in the mornings? Every morning, I like to have a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. Mmmm. This is what some people in London told us when we asked them what they do in the mornings

Voxpops
I always have some breakfast.
I always go to the gym in the morning.
I always drink a glass of warm water when I wake up.

Tim
One thing that happens when we speak English fluently is that we sometimes add sounds between words to help link them together more smoothly and easily. Listen again. Can you hear another sound between the words I and always?

Voxpops
I always have some breakfast.
I always go to the gym in the morning.
I always drink a glass of warm water when I wake up.

Tim
Did you catch it? It’s hardly there but when one word ends in /aɪ/, /ɪː/, /eɪ/ or/ɔɪ/ sound, and the next word begins in a vowel sound, we can smooth the link out by adding a small /j/ sound. I always [slowly] becomes I always [fluently]. This is sometimes called the linking /j/. But be careful, your mouth normally does this naturally as your mouth changes shape between the sounds. You don’t actually want to add a full /j/ sound. Here are some more examples.

Examples
When I go on holiday I just want to lie on the beach.
The end of the film was brilliant.
I ate the whole cake in one go.
It was too high up for me to reach.

Tim
Right, now you've heard the examples, and now it's your turn. You know the drill: listen and repeat.

Examples
When I go on holiday I just want to lie on the beach.
The end of the film was brilliant.
I ate the whole cake in one go.
It was too high up for me to reach.

Tim
Well done. And remember, if you want to learn more about pronunciation, then please visit our website, bbclearningenglish.com. And that is about it from the pronunciation workshop for this week. I'll see you soon. Bye bye! Right, now I've been looking forward to this biscuit. Actually, do you want to see a magic trick? Now you see it, now you don't. What? It's a magic trick – magic!

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