In this lesson, students learn some common English reductions. Have students do the practice activity, and then go over the charts below.
English Reductions Practice
When we speak, we reduce the pronunciation of certain words and phrases. This can be confusing for non-native speakers who are often unfamiliar with these reductions. Learning some common English reductions will improve your comprehension and make you sound more natural to native speakers.
Work with a partner. Look at the dialogue below. What would the expressions in bold sound like in a casual conversation?
Kelly: Hey, Brad. How are you? Did you have a nice weekend?
Brad: It was okay.
Kelly: What did you do?
Brad: Well, I had a lot of work to do, and I didn’t want to fall behind with my work. So, I worked all day Saturday. Then, on Sunday, we were going to go to the beach, but we decided not to.
Kelly: Oh, you should have gone. I went to the beach and it was beautiful. Why didn’t you go?
Brad: I didn’t want to drive that far. I guess I could have taken a bus, but I ended up deciding to just stay home and rest. Maybe I’ll go next weekend if I don’t have to work.
Kelly: What do you mean?
Brad: Well, it’s the end of the fiscal year, so we’ve been working really hard.
Kelly: Can’t you get everything done during the week?
Brad: Yeah, and my boss might be able to help me as well. I’ll ask him if he can help me.
how are you sounds like ____________.
did you sounds like ____________.
what did you sounds like ____________.
a lot of sounds like ____________.
want to sounds like ____________.
going to sounds like ____________.
should have sounds like ____________.
didn’t you sounds like ____________.
could have sounds like ____________.
have to sounds like ____________.
what do you sounds like ____________.
working sounds like ____________.
can’t you sounds like ____________.
ask him sounds like ____________.
Below are some of common reductions in English.
|Reductions of “you”||Sounds Like|
How do you…?
What are you..?
What do you…?
|Reductions of “you” in “did” questions||Sounds Like|
|Who did you…?
What did you…?
When did you…?
Where did you…?
Why did you….?
How did you….?
|Reductions of “of”||Sounds Like|
a lot of
|Reductions of “to”||Sounds Like|
|Reductions of “have”||Sounds Like|
* Reduced when followed by the past participle (I should have told you about it, for example).
|Reductions of “and” and “or”||Sounds Like|
|Reductions of “me”||Sounds Like|
|Other Reductions||Sounds Like|
I don’t know
gerunds (going, taking, eating, etc.)
goin’, takin’, eatin’