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English Words – The Top 10 – Pronunciation Guide – Learn English (American English)


In this video series, you will learn how to
pronounce the 100 most common words in American English. I got this idea when I saw a couple of other
videos on this topic, and I was horrified at what I saw. In those videos, people were teaching the
full pronunciation of these words, like: THAT, HAVE, TO. So many of the 100 most common words are function
words and they reduce. It is completely unnatural to fully pronounce
each word in American English. Let me show you what I mean. This sentence is four words, and each one
of these words is in the 100 most common words list. This is for work. That’s the full pronunciation of each of
those words. And if that’s all you learn about the pronunciation,
then this is how you would pronounce that sentence: This is for work. This is for work. Well, I don’t want any of my students thinking
that that is the correct way to pronounce that sentence. It’s not. It’s not natural. This is for work. This is for work. Is and for are not fully pronounced. Rhythm in American English is extremely important
for capturing the character of the language: for understanding Americans when they speak,
and for sounding natural and being easily understood when you speak. Some syllables are long, and some are very
very short. This contrast is the rhythm of American English. In order to make those short syllables really
short, some words in American English, some of the most common words, reduce. This means a sound changes or is dropped. And everybody studying English should know
these. Let’s take our sentence again and talk about
the real pronunciation of it. This is for work. Two words are longer. This. Work. And two words are shorter. Is, for. This is for work. This is for work. So it’s not iz but is. And it’s not for but fer. This is for work. Rhythmic contrast. So as we go through the 100 most common words
in American English here, we’re going to talk about rhythm and reductions at the same
time, to make sure that you’re learning the correct pronunciation, not the full pronunciation,
which is rarely used in most function words. Okay, let’s start at the beginning. The number one most common word in American English is THE. In a sentence it will become the, the. Very fast with a schwa. This is when the next word begins with a consonant. For example, “the most”, the, the
most. It’s usually pronounced with the EE vowel,
the, the, the. If the next word begins with a vowel or diphthong,
for example, “the other”, the, the, the. The most important thing about the pronunciation
of this word is that it should be said very quickly. The cat. It should never be THE CAT, THE CAT. Always ‘the cat’. The, the, the very fast. The next word is ‘be’, and I assume this
means the verb TO BE, conjugated. I am, you are, he is, she is, it is, we are,
they are. The important thing to know about these pronunciations
is that they will almost always be said in a contraction, ‘I am’ becomes I’m, I’m,
I’m. Said very quickly, I’m. Sometimes you’ll even hear as just. the M sound: M’sorry. M’sorry, mm, mm, mm. This is a natural pronunciation. YOU ARE, you’re, reduces to ‘you’re’. Super fast. basically no vowel. You’re, you’re. You’re gonna be okay. You’re, you’re. Very fast. HE IS becomes ‘he’s’.He’s. SHE IS is she’s. She’s. IT IS, it’s, it’s, it’s. Sometimes we reduce this even further we change
a sound, we dropped the vowel. We say just ‘ts’. Ts, ts. ‘ts cool! ‘ts awesome! Ts. Have you ever heard that? ‘Ts cool. ‘Ts raining. It’s a common reduction. WE ARE, we’re, becomes ‘we’re’. We’re running late. ‘we’re’, ‘we’re’. Very fast. THEY ARE, they’re becomes ‘they’re’. Very fast, the vowel changes, they’re. They’re okay. They’re, they’re. Word number three: to. Almost never pronounced this way, to. We use a reduction: the vowel changes to the
schwa. To, to, said very quickly. And sometimes, the true T at the beginning
changes to more of a D sound, or a Flap T. “Let’s go to the beach.” Go to the. Go to. Go to. How is ‘to’ being pronounce there? to
to, go to. A flap of the tongue, and the schwa. Said very quickly. Go to. Go to the beach. It’s nothing like TO, is it? OF. Again, we don’t fully pronounce this word. It’s not OF, it’s of. Schwa, very light V, said very quickly. And actually, you’ll often hear this word
without the ‘v’. Then it’s just the schwa, and we pronounce
it this way in phrases ‘kind of’ and ‘sort of’. kinda, sorta. For example, I’m kinda tired. Kinda. Kinda, uh, uh, uh. Schwa, very fast. Kinda. Ok, we’re only four words in, but let’s
review. I’m going to put up a sentence. Look at it, find the reduction, and then say
the sentence with the reduction. Say the reduction very quickly. Here’s one sentence: I am remember becomes I’m. How quickly did you make that first word? I’m running late. I’m running late.Try it as just the M sound. Mmm, mmm. M’running, M’running. M’running late. Sorry guys, I’m running late. So natural. When you learn the reductions in American
English, and you start to really use them in your speech, you gain a native feeling. Also, understanding Americans becomes easier
because you can start to identify the reductions. One more for you to try out loud now: I want
you to try reducing the word ‘to’. Look at it, think about it, now try it out
loud. “I know how to do it.” How to, how to, how to. I’m making that the Flap T and the schwa. Are you? Try it again. How to, I know how to do it. Alright, we’ll keep going with number 5:
AND. And. Another word that we rarely fully pronounce. There are a couple of different ways to reduce
this. We’ll start with the full pronunciation,
and we’ll reduce from there. AA vowel followed by N consonant: the tongue
is lifted in the back for AA, Aaaa. Then relaxes before the N. Aa-uh, aa-uh, aa-uh. So it’s not a pure AA sound. Aa-uh, aa-uh. And, and, and, and, and. First reduction is just dropping the D. “An’,
An’and I think it will be okay.” An, An’ I, An’ I. No D, just the N into the next word. An’ I think it will be okay. Another reduction, more common, is to just
say the N sound, “N’. N’ I think it will be okay.” N’, N’, just straight from the N into the
next word. N’ I, N’ I think it will be okay. Cookies and cream, salt and pepper, black
and white, up and down, left and right. All of these, I’m just making a quick N
sound, linking the two other words. Up and down. Number 6. Okay, we’re actually going to do 6 and 32
together, because they’re related. They’re the articles A and AN. Now, we don’t say A and AN. We say ‘a’ and ‘an’. Schwa. Very fast, very little movement for the mouth. A, a, a coffee. A, a or An, an example. An, an. A, an. Number 7. IN. We don’t drop or change a sound here. We don’t reduce. But it is still unstressed. This mean it should be really short, less
clear. Instead of saying ‘IN’, we would say ‘in’. “He’s in love.” In, in. “She’s in a hurry”. In, in, in. So be careful. It’s not IN. That sounds stressed. It’s ‘in’. Number 8: THAT. You know what I realize? I already have a video for a lot of these
reductions. I have a video on the pronunciation of THAT
and how we really pronounce it in a sentence. So I’ll give a brief description here, but
I’ll also link to that and other related reduction videos in the video description. THAT is a word that can be used lots of different
ways in American English. And in some cases, in many cases, we reduce
the vowel from AA to the schwa so THAT becomes ‘that’. Now the ending T: the pronunciation of that
sound depends on the beginning of the next word. If the next word begins with a vowel or diphthong,
it’s a Flap T: That I, d d, d that I. If the next word begins with a consonant,
then it’s a Stop T. That she. That, that That she. I know, it’s a little confusing. Check out my video on the word THAT for a
longer explanation and more examples. But just note that we often don’t pronounce
this word, that. We often reduce it so it has the schwa that. Number 9: the verb HAVE. Just like the verb ‘be’, this will often
be used as a contraction in spoken English, which is already a reduction. We’re already changing sounds for that:
I HAVE becomes I’ve, I’ve I’ve I’ve I’ve. “I’ve been wanting to see that.” I’ve I’ve. YOU HAVE becomes ‘you’ve.’ HE HAS becomes ‘he’s’. He’s he’s. You’ve you’ve. He’s been waiting. He’s. Here’s something interesting: the pronunciation
of the HAS contraction. With ‘he’ and ‘she’, it’s pronounced
as a Z. Hiz. Hiz been, hiz been. But with Shes shiz shiz. But with it, its, it’s been raining, then
it’s an S sound. It’s. He’s, Z it’s, Ss S. WE HAVE becomes ‘we’ve’,
we’ve’ we’ve’ and THEY HAVE becomes ‘they’ve’ which sounds like deiv when
it’s unstressed. Number 10: the pronoun I. Usually said very quickly, it’s not “I”
but “I”. I think so. I, I, I. I think, I. If you’re speaking really quickly, you can
maybe get away with something more like ‘aa’ than ‘I’. I think so. Aa aa aa. I think so. When it’s said so quickly, you can’t really
tell if I’m doing the full diphthong I or not. Wow. Okay, we just did the ten most common words
in English, and none of them are fully pronounced. They’re all words that are unstressed or
reduced. Interesting. Keep your eyes out, that’s an idiom that
means to look for something. We’d expect to it will be coming in the future. So keep your eyes out for future videos in
this series where we’ll go over the rest of the words in this list. Here’s playlist, and as I create the new videos,
I will add them there. When will we find our first stressed word
in the 100 most common words of American English? We’ll have to find out. That’s it, and thanks so much for using
Rachel’s English.

Reynold King

100 Replies to “English Words – The Top 10 – Pronunciation Guide – Learn English (American English)”

  1. Want to train with me LIVE? → bit.ly/re_a
    You’ll LOVE my book: bit.ly/re_bk
    Start my FREE 10-day mini course: bit.ly/re_n

  2. You have become?? Can you explain why is the verb not conjugated in past participle? If this is present perfect sentence (you are using have an auxiliary) how come you are using become in simple present, third person? I'm confused ..thanks

  3. I'm going to acquire more expressions and pronunciations in English.
    No chance to be forced to practice to pronouncing English in the world in which I've lived.
    Learning English pronunciations for me is just relaying on youtube or in the social interaction.

  4. Interesting video as usual, but to be honest I’m really confused, can’t catch the whole words right and quickly. It was super easy words for me before this video but now I’m keep thinking while I’m speaking “how can I pronounce one of this words “ and it’s not comfortable 🙂

  5. Hello welcome my not speak english are you my happy you desid my speak profosonel suport me tha you

  6. Thnk for this video
    My pronunciation is so poor and it has make my english test so poor….
    is there any more video and for other pronunciation…

  7. You’re amazing. I’ve been learning a lot of you class and I think you’re the professor I’ve ever seen and heard. Thanks so much, and keep going your job. Xoxo

  8. tHANK YOU SO MUCH rACHEL'S LOVE!!! (wITH ALL THE LETTERS)

    i DO HOPE TO FIND A GIRLFRIEND LIKE YOU! ("SOMEONE LIKE YOU♪♪♪")

    bLESSINGS!!!

  9. Thank you so much Rachel. You're the most soft and gentle teacher I've ever come across. You're natural and talented

  10. Suas aulas são um convite para aprender Inglês, muita classe para explicar e uma voz fascinante… Muito obrigado pelos vídeos seus que eu já assisti.

  11. Hi Rachel. I see once again "Help us caption & translate this video!" words in the description. I am glad and ready to help. Only one question, how technically? I see no default options. By the way, I can translate into Russian. Is it interesting?

  12. when you are explaining the lesson I always think that you know what I want 😂 and each video that I watch makes me to watch the other videos. Thank you very much.🙏

  13. Thanks for existing… There's no better explanation than that!
    I've been learning to speak English naturally watching your videos!
    You have no idea how happy I am.
    Thank you so much 🇧🇷😍🇺🇸

  14. I think it`s the best English course for me. Thanks, Rachel. But there are so many vedioes , is there a guide for systemtical learning about these vedios, I even dont know which is best to start.

  15. I'ts important to understand. But don't try to make people from other countries to speak like you. That's too much work for us. We want to learn the first language in the world to be able to speak with everybody, not just americans. I think american english is cool and nice, and if I travel to Japan, China or France I can't learn each language in each country, that's why we choose your wonderful language, not to speak like you, but to comunicate with the world and to be undertood. If you come to Europe with your fast english, you won't be well understood by everyone. You'll have to speak a bit slowly. I have a dialekt too, but when I speak with foreigners I try to tallk like I learnt at school. Grownups don't learn like children and the most important thing is to set comunication. We try to understand you and you try to accept the way we speak.

  16. I am 23 and I can understand everything that I hear, but my pronunciation is bad. I hope I can pronounce everything at a native level if I work hard for years.

  17. Hello, in 6:00 in this clip you said “ the shoo t “ to pronounce “ the true t “ . Can you explain about it, please .

  18. Hi there just to let you know Im getting much better with your videos,Do you have any tips for me to get better in my writting Skill because Im planning to take my GED in english Again,I failed the firs time in the esay.Thanks.

  19. Rachel…she’s the real thing, a genuine jewel in the world—when people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s are dyeing their hair, Rachel, half their age, isn’t; that’s kinda cool. She’s kinda cute and she’s class too. To be, or not to be, that is the question….
    💕 ☮ 🌎 🌌

  20. Thank you sooooooooo much respected ma'am you are doing an excellant work , I really really appreciate you, keep continue love from India

  21. I really like your videos, it's very informative, one thing that i wanna suggest you that make a playlist of reduction and articulation on your dash board.

  22. isn't that you can simply try to say it naturally? I mean if you try to pronounce words quickly, without special accuracy, you'll get something like what you're saying without thinking about it

  23. Rachel, you could make a video about the pronunciation of "I like that", "I liked that", "I watch that" and "I watched that". Thank you.

  24. You are a great teacher, with a wonderfull analysis method.
    You opened a new way for English learners to understand the fast and native English speach
    Thank you Rachel

  25. Boy! Check out the way Rachel pronounces "This sentence" in 0:45 to 051. It sounds like "Distance". That's a reduction. Cool.
    I'm going to start working pronunciation with some groups tonight, and I'm going to use this video and the others from this series to give them a better comprehension of the American English pronunciation. Thank you, Rachel. Pedro from Brazil.

  26. I've heard that "they're , there and their" are homophones. However, the reduction you've made here sounds different. Care to go through that? I mean, how would you say "Theyre there with their parents."

  27. In minute 9:15, Rachel reduces the "it will" to It dough". Great. This is a very hard contraction for us non-native speakers to master.

  28. You said "a" has the schwa sound. I might be wrong, but when you say "She's in a hurry." you pronounce "a" as a schwa or like "a" as in Avocado? Again, I might be wrong.

  29. Wow, just practicing along with you has improved my pronunciation tons! The fact that I don't know this hinders me from speaking as fast as my mind thinks. Thank you! Gotta keep practicing those reductions! 😊👍👏

  30. hello, you are an ecxelent English teacher, but I have a doub t, why do you write "they have becomes? or would be "they have become without S" thanks a lot for your helping, God bless you

  31. hello teacher, I have a doubt en the minute 12,34, the sentence says "he has becomes" would be "he has become "and in the minute 13,15 the sentence says "they have becomes", or should say "they have become," because it is present perfect, and the verb must go in past participle, thanks a lot

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