Connective Speech: An amazing approach towards English fluency

by Ciarán Donnelly

Do you want to improve your English pronunciation to sound more like a native speaker?

Yes, of course you do!

If you find it very difficult to understand native speakers when they talk, then learning and studying connective speech could lead to incredible progression.

Firstly, you must understand that you don’t pronounce every word when you are speaking English.

You don’t believe me? Well, look at the below examples:

Connective Speech Relaxed Pronunciation Bestow Education

Relaxed pronunciation in connective speech

A native speaker won’t pronounce each word of the sentence I want to go. Try say it quickly, it takes too much time!

This brings use nicely to a very important point in achieving English fluency. When one word ends with /t/ and the next word starts with /t/, you only pronounce the /t/ sound once. See below:

Connective Speech t sound Bestow Education

In these examples, the /t/ sound is shared by the 2 words and emphasised more in the second sound(word).

It is not just the /t/ sound where this happens. Have a look at the examples below that include the /d/, /p/, /l/ and /k/ sounds:

Connective Speech Examples Bestow Education

If you can’t say 2 words quickly together and you notice consonants that are the same at the end of the first words and start of the second word, think about using connective speech for more fluency.

One exception to this is the /tʃ/ sound. In this situation, the sound should be made twice.

Connective Speech Exception Bestow Education

As seen above, /t/ and /d/ pronunciations connect with each other when speaking. They can be also joined with different consonants. When this happens, the /t/ and /d/ sounds completely disappear.

Connective Speech Explanation Bestow Education

There are exceptions:

  1. Verbs used in the past tense
  2. When you want to put emphasis on a word

Strong and weak forms in connective speech

In the English language, be aware that some words have both a full form and weak form. By understanding this, it will enable you to understand native speakers better and also sound like a native speaker! Have a look at the below:

Connective Speech Strong Weak Form Bestow Education

One of the best ways I have seen students improve their English pronunciation is recording themselves. By recording and comparing your speech to a native speaker, you will notice differences and be able to greatly improve your pronunciation.

Noticing is at the heart of any improvement Bestow Education

I am positive that by being aware of these pronunciation points, practicing, and having patience, you will see huge improvements in your understanding and fluency.

So, now that you know what connective speech is, use connective speech!


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Further reading

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