Once again, let’s start by defining Casual American English. Here are some good times to use it:
* when you want to speak quickly
* when speaking with coworkers that you know well
* when talking about casual subjects such as family life, TV shows or movies
* when telling jokes or using idioms
Whether or not you want to use casual English regularly, it is good to practice it. In standard American English, there are a few significant changes in sound. If you do not know about them, you may misunderstand people (or people may misunderstand you). Casual English is frequently used in fast-paced business environments.
There are 5 overall changes you can make:
* speak quickly and smoothly
* stress fewer words
* pause less often
* use contractions whenever possible
* reduce more small words
Here is a list of the changes in sound that you can make. These are the main changes–a few extra possibilities will be listed in the lessons. Always remember that there is a very fine line between formal and casual speech in American English. And of course, word and sound choices vary with different personalities. Some people will speak quite casually all the time while others will speak more carefully or deliberately.
|Our||sounds like “ar”||Let’s work on ar project.|
|Are||sounds like ‘r or becomes contract||The managers ‘r coming soon.|
|Will||drop the “wi” and attach to previous word, |
use as a contraction
|There’ll be a new system in place.|
The boss’ll approve it tomorrow.
|Going to||say “gunnu” when speaking about an intention*||He’s gunnu buy the new phone.|
|Want to||say “wunnu”||I wunnu finish the project soon.|
|Have to||say “haftu”||We haftu finish by Monday.|
|To = d’||if “to” comes between vowel sounds it can be a D|
this also works with final N + “to”
|We’re meeting from two d’ six.|
They plan d’ go later.
|Have||can drop the H in have, has, and had |
also speak the A sound lightly**
|Where ‘ave you been?|
How ‘as she been doing?
|He, Him, His, Her||can drop the H in these pronouns**|
be sure to say a Long E with reduced “he”
|Did ‘er doctor call?|
Is ‘ee home yet?
|Them||say “um”||I didn’t see ‘um.|
|that||say “thet”||I know thet it’s late.|
|Final T + You||change T to a light “ch”||How abou’choo?|
|You||can become yu when speaking very quickly||Wha’chu been up to?|
|Your||say “yr”||This is yr last warning.|
|* don’t do this if speaking about a place: I’m going to the store.|
** don’t drop the H if it’s the first word in a sentence.
|750 Business Words||Introduction Main Page|
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