English Conversation Exercise – Is Rachel Stressed?  Ben Franklin Exericse

English Conversation Exercise – Is Rachel Stressed? Ben Franklin Exericse


>>Here with my friend Tom, my favorite Rachel’s
English teacher, besides myself.>>Of course.
>>We’re going to have a little conversation and then turn it into a Ben Franklin exercise.>>Are you stressed about anything, Rach?
Can I call you Rach?>>You can call me Rach.
>>Um, sort, of, but in a very good way. You know I’m leaving for Europe.
>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for?
>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.>>That’s a good long time.
>>It’s a good long time. I’m leaving in 10 days. So it feels like there’s a lot
to be done.>>Are you stressed about anything, Rach?
[2x] Are you stressed about anything, Rach? Every
word there was quite fast except for the word ‘you’. It’s a little uncommon to stress
a function word like this. Normally, I think I would stress the word ‘stressed’. Are
you stressed about anything, Rach? But the reason why Tom stressed the word ‘you’
is because I had just asked him if he was stressed about anything. So now, he was turning
the question to me, and he stressed ‘you’. Are you stressed about anything, Rach?>>Are you stressed about anything, Rach?
[2x] A couple other things I notice about this
sentence, Tom turns the T into a D, making it a flap. About anything, about anything.
He’s doing this because it’s a T coming between two vowel sounds. Even though it’s
two separate words, the T still comes between two vowel sounds, which means it’s a great
opportunity to link the two words together with a Flap T (which sounds like the American
D). About anything [3x]. Are you stressed about
anything, Rach?>>Are you stressed about anything, Rach?
[2x] Did you notice how the intonation went up
at the end? About anything Rach? Rach? Rach? That’s because this is a yes/no question.
And yes/no questions go up in pitch at the end.>>Are you stressed about anything, Rach?
Can I call you Rach?>>You can call me Rach.>>Can I call you Rach?
>>You can call me Rach. These next two sentences are great examples
of reducing the word ‘can’.>>Can I call you Rach?
>>You can call me Rach. The word ‘can’ is so fast there, as if
it has no vowels at all. Just the K sound and the N sound. Kn, kn, kn. Can I call you
Rach? You can call me Rach.>>Can I call you Rach?
>>You can call me Rach. [2x] Notice how everything flows together. We don’t
feel like we have five separate words in this sentence. Can I call you Rach? Can I call
you Rach? It’s just like one long word. We do that by linking words together. When
a word begins with a vowel, and the word before ends in a consonant, this is an easy time
to link. Just like up here, when we used a Flap T to link. Can I. [3x] Linking an ending
consonant to a beginning vowel helps smooth out the line. Can I. Can I call you Rach?
You can call me Rach. Again, the word ‘can’ is almost lost here. Kn, kn. You can call
me Rach.>>Can I call you Rach?
>>You can call me Rach. [2x] We reduce the word ‘can’ like this when
it’s not the only verb in the sentence. In these two sentences, the main verb is ‘call’.
That means the word ‘can’ is a helping verb. That’s a function word, it’s not
as important as the main verb ‘call’. The word ‘can’ is usually a helping verb.
When you pronounce it reduced, kn, kn, it will help you sound more American. Can I call
you Rach? You can call me Rach. Kn, kn.>>Can I call you Rach?
>>You can call me Rach.>>Um, sort of, but in a very good way. Did you notice? Another Flap T here, linking
the word ‘sort’ and ‘of’. Sort of, sort of, sort of. So it sounded like an American
D. I just said that when the T comes between two vowel sounds, it turns into a Flap T and
can link words. But R is not a vowel sound. The rule is, if the T comes between two vowels,
or after an R, before a vowel, that it becomes a Flap T. Sort of. [3x] If we think of this
as one word, stress is on the first syllable. Sor-duv. And the second syllable is very fast.
It has the schwa, not a full vowel. Sort of. [2x]>>Um, sort of, but in a very good way. Let’s go back for a second. I left something
important out. The word ‘um’. This is the word we use when we’re thinking. Um
or uh. These thinking sounds use the UH as in BUTTER vowel. Uh, uh. I call this the core
sound of American English. Everything in the mouth, face, neck, throat is extremely relaxed.
Uh, um. That allows the placement to be lower in the body, less in the face. Very American.
Um, uh.>>Um, sort of, but in a very good way. [2x] The first syllable of the word ‘very’,
ver-, and the word ‘way’, but in a very good way, are the most stressed. Do you hear
how fast this string of function words is? But in a. [4x] But in a very good way. They
all link together. Again, we have ending consonant linking into a beginning vowel, ending consonant
linking into a beginning vowel. Both of these links help to make it sound like one word,
very smooth. But in a, but in a. Again, this T is turning into a Flap T, or, a D sound.
But in a, but in a. But in a very good way.>>Um, sort of, but in a very good way. You
know I’m leaving for Europe. You know I’m leaving for Europe. What do
you hear as the most stressed syllables in this sentence? I hear ‘know’, ‘leav-‘,
‘Eur-‘. You know I’m leaving for Europe.>>You know I’m leaving for Europe. [2x] These are all the most important parts of
the sentence, the content words. Content words are nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
Here we have verb, verb, and proper noun. You know I’m leaving for Europe. Notice
that in a content word, for example, leaving, that only the stressed syllable is stressed.
Even though this is an important word, and it’s a stressed word in the sentence, the
unstressed syllable, the –ing ending, is not stressed. So, unstressed syllables, even
in stressed words, are still unstressed syllables.>>You know I’m leaving for Europe. [2x] Notice I use the contraction I’m. Some of
my students don’t like to use contractions because they don’t think they’re clear
enough. They will say ‘I am’. You know I’m leaving for Europe. But using a contraction,
like I’m, is just like up here, where we took these three words and linked them together
and made them very fast. But in a. So, contractions are words we reduce and link together in writing
and in speech. I’m, I’m.>>You know I’m leaving for Europe. [2x] Reducing and contracting words will help you sound
very American. There’s actually one more example of a reduction in this sentence. It’s
the word ‘for’. For Europe. For Europe. I reduced that vowel to the schwa. And the
schwa-R together make one sound, rr. Rr, rr, fr, fr. For Europe, for Europe. And again,
here we have an ending consonant linking into a beginning vowel. For Europe. [3x] So those
two words glide together very easily. For Europe, for Europe.>>You know I’m leaving for Europe.
>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for? This was all very fast. Yes, that’s right.
How long are you going to be gone for? Wow. Tom didn’t even really finish the word ‘right’.
Yes that’s right how long? He certainly didn’t pronounce a full T. He moved on to
the next sentence before he even finished that word.>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going
to be gone for? So there was no real break here between sentences.
You probably noticed he took ‘going to’ and turned it into ‘gonna’. How long are
you gonna? You gonna? [3x] How long are you gonna be gone for?>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going
to be gone for? [2x] Did you notice Tom did not reduce the word
‘for’ to the schwa. Well, I just said that that’s something that we want to do
with this word in order to make it sound more American. But, I do need to add: we don’t
reduce words like ‘for’ when they’re at the end of a sentence.>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going
to be gone for? There, they need to be fully pronounced. Even
though it was still very fast, it wasn’t a stressed word, it did have the full vowel.>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going
to be gone for?>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks. I’m going to be gone for five weeks. [2x]
Again, I used ‘I’m’ instead of ‘I am’. That helped me make it fast and less
important, compared to the more important words in the sentence.>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
[2x] You also may have noticed, I also took ‘going
to’ and pronounced it ‘gonna’. I’m gonna [3x].>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
[2x] How do you hear this word ‘for’? Listen
again.>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
[2x] You’re right, it’s reduced. For, for,
for, for five, for five. For five weeks.>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
[2x] So, the most important words there, the loudest,
the clearest, are ‘gone’, ‘five’, and ‘weeks’. Those are the words that
carry the actual meaning of the sentence. So, we don’t reduce these more important
words. But if we say all the other words fast, reduce them, then it makes these more important
words stand out the most. I’m going to be gone for five weeks.>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
>>That’s a good long time. That’s a good long time. Tom didn’t really
pronounce the TH here. He reduced the word ‘that’s’ to just the schwa-TS sound.
Utsa, utsa, utsa good long time. [2x]>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
>>That’s a good long time. [2x] We reduce that’s, it’s, what’s, at the
beginning of a sentence like this a lot. And look, we have an ending consonant beginning
vowel to link. That’s a, [3x] that’s a good long time. He stressed
the last three words.>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
>>That’s a good long time. [2x] We have adjective, adjective, noun. The three content words are stressed,
longer, clearer.>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.
>>That’s a good long time.>>It’s a good long time. I’m leaving
in ten days. I reduced the word ‘it’s’ by dropping
the vowel. Tsa, tsa, it’s a good long time.>>It’s a good long time. I’m leaving
in ten days. It’s a good long time. Linking the TS cluster
into the schwa. Tsa, tsa, it’s a good long time. It’s a good long time. Again, these
three words are stressed, good long time. I stressed the word ‘good’ the most. It’s
a good long time. It’s a good long time. Just like Tom did earlier, I didn’t really
leave a sentence break here, did I? I went straight on to my next thought.>>It’s a good long time. I’m leaving
in ten days. Look. Another contraction. The most important
syllables in that sentence: leav-, ten, days. I’m leaving in ten days. [4x] Again, they’re
the most important parts of the sentence for content. The verb leaving, and the time amount,
ten days.>>I’m leaving in ten days, so it feels
like there’s a lot to be done. I notice the word ‘it’ is not very clear.
So it feels. [2x]>>I’m leaving in ten days, so it feels
like there’s a lot to be done. So it feels like. The word ‘it’ begins
with a vowel. Here, the word before ends with a vowel. So we can link vowel to vowel. So
it. [3x] So it feels like. It’s a very smooth transition. And it can feel like I go through
the glide consonant W. So it. [3x] That helps me link them together. So it feels like. What’s happening with the T in ‘it’?
It’s a Stop T. So it, so it, so it feels. So it feels like. The T is not fully pronounced,
tt. So it, so it. But instead, I stop the air. So it. In general, we pronounce T’s
this way when the next sound is a consonant. So it feels like there’s a lot to be done.
And the ending Z sound of ‘there’s’ links right into the schwa sound uh. There’s
a, there’s a, there’s a lot to be done.>>There’s a lot to be done. [2x] How are these two words pronounced? Lot to,
lot to. This is clearly not an ‘oo’ vowel, it’s a schwa. Lot to. But what about the
T’s? Lot to. I’m making the first T a Stop T. Lot. So I’m just stopping the air
for a second—lot to, lot to—before releasing to make the second T. There’s a lot to be
done.>>There’s a lot to be done. [2x] We use these three words together, a lot to,
quite a bit. Let’s do a quick comparison to ‘a lot of’, which we also use together
frequently. Here we have an ending T consonant and beginning vowel. The T comes between two
vowels, so it’s a Flap T or a D sound. A lot of, a lot of. So the T in ‘lot’ is
pronounced one way in this phrase, a lot to, and a different way in this phrase, a lot
of. Let’s listen to the whole bit of conversation one more time.>>Are you stressed about anything, Rach?
Can I call you Rach?>>You can call me Rach.
>>Um, sort, of, but in a very good way. You know I’m leaving for Europe.
>>Yes, that’s right. How long are you going to be gone for?
>>I’m going to be gone for five weeks.>>That’s a good long time.
>>It’s a good long time. I’m leaving in 10 days. So it feels like there’s a lot
to be done. Even with just a little bit of speech, there’s
a lot to study. Thanks for studying with me. That’s it, and thanks so much for using
Rachel’s English.

100 comments

  1. hello, i nearly can't hear the D sound such as in "good way" and so on, is it also like the stop T? those are very nice to study, Thank you. from Japan

  2. 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

  3. L'anglais est belle langue que j'ai adoré malheureusement vous la déformée ! C'est moche…

  4. Dear Teacher. can you make a video to guide me how to speak /s/ at the end of the word. because I speaks I can hear /s/ but when I recorded it, I cann't hear /s/. I don't know how to improve that issue.

  5. Hey Rachel i m new here…maybe you don t know,but it was one of the best classes that you have done…(sorry about mistakes) I progressing

  6. Super l , so helpful didnt see anywhere similar lesson.I was good at Phonetics at uni but I have forgotten the" can" to be unstressed and spell like [kn]🖒

  7. Thank you so much for providing such good videos. I have one question about the tone after watch the video. The textbook tells us that we should use falling tone when we answer an question, but I found that when you answer the question :"can I call you Rach", you said "you can call me rach" with tone going up.Besides, in the last sentence, you said there's a lot to be done, I think it is the ending of a sentence, so we should use an falling tone, but I think your tone was raising. Is there something wrong with my listening or are there some exceptions for intonation.
    Looking forward for your answer, thanks so much.

  8. I got a question. I need more Ben Franklin videos. This is not enough videos on your Youtube channel. Do you have more Ben flanklin videos on your website? This is what I really want!

  9. Dear Rachel, you are my most beloved teacher on youtube, I have learnt lot of pronunciation from you, thanks so much teacher.

  10. i think i'm so good in English but i want to speak with Ame or Eng person to make it more effective to speak and think English

  11. I like benfranklin exercise very much.
    I was curious about reductions and also about some specific pronounciations.
    Know I hope it will work and I'll be able to speak very good…

  12. Hi, Rachel. I have been watching your videos when you release. Since I watched all of your current videos, I went back to old ones and practiced pronunciation. This is great exercise! I learned and practiced a lot! Thank you. 🙂

  13. Hello Rachel,
    Could you help me for this "I am following up your case"?
    As I feel very not smooth to say "following up", I am sure u can help this problem. Thx😅

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