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Learning English - Pronunciation tips
Connected Speech
phonemic symbols

What is connected speech?
When we speak naturally we do not pronounce a word, stop, then say the next word in the sentence. Fluent speech flows with a rhythm and the words bump into each other. To make speech flow smoothly the way we pronounce the end and beginning of some words can change depending on the sounds at the beginning and end of those words.

These changes are described as features of connected speech.

Sounds link
Linking is a way of joining the pronunciation of two words so that they are easy to say and flow together smoothly. In English there are different ways that this happens.

Consonant to vowel linking - when the first word ends with a consonant sound and the second word begins with a vowel sound. See Radio Programme 1

Vowel to vowel linking - when certain vowels come next to each other an extra sound is added to make the link smooth. See Radio Programme 1

Linking 'r'
In standard British English (RP) the letter 'r' after a vowel sound at the end of word is often not pronounced. However, when the following word begins with a vowel the /r/ sound is pronounced to make a smooth link. See Radio Programme 2


Sounds disappear
When the sounds /t/ or /d/ occur between two consonant sounds, they will often disappear completely from the pronunciation. See Radio Programme 2


Sounds join together
When a word ends in a consonant sound and the following word begins with the same consonant sound, we don't pronounce two sounds - both sounds are pronounced together as one. See Radio Programme 2

Sounds change
When a word ends in a consonant sound and the following word begins with a consonant sound, depending on the particular sounds, the last sound of the first word or both the last sound and the first sound of the next word can change. See Radio Programme 3
 The sounds of English
 Radio programme 1
 Radio programme 2
 Radio programme 3
 Similar sounds
 Unit 1: Key and Pin
 Unit 2: Book and Do
 Unit 3: Door and Coat
 Unit 4: Egg, Cat and Cup
 Unit 5: Sock and Coat
 Building knowledge
 Sounds and spelling
 Connected speech
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