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BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

Programme 1:

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Script (21k)

Weak form – schwa
This is a very common feature of spoken English which is often found in grammar words such as prepositions and articles and also in many words with more than one syllable. It is never stressed.

In the example sentence below the weak form schwa is shown by its phonemic symbol, which looks like an upside down ‘e’.

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There is more about this sound on the page Schwa >>


Consonant to vowel linking

When one word ends with a consonant sound and the next word begins with a vowel sound there is a smooth link between the two. In these examples the link is shown in red joining the linked words. These examples also show where the weak form schwa would be pronounced.

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Vowel to vowel linking
When one word ends with a vowel sound and the next word begins with a vowel, another sound, a /w/ or /j/ can be added depending on the particular sounds to make a smooth transition. In these examples the link is shown in red along with the phonemic symbol for the sound which is added to make the link smooth.

Download these examples (36k)


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