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Pronunciation

britdam007

britdam007

India

“Forest deparment officials tried to treat the elephant for the better part of the day on Thursday but she died around 8:30 pm.”


My question to you is, in the above sentence I would like to know the pronunciation of the preposition ‘for’ in fluent English, i.e. whether the pronunciation of ‘for’(especially when it is used in the middle of the sentence) becomes | fər |  or rather | fer | ? 



Is it true that when the preposition ‘for’ is used in the begining of a sentence the pronunciation of it becomes | fɔːr |


Example:  For | fɔːr | all I know, the mayor hasresigned already. 



Do you agree with me?


Best regards,


Abhishek

05:25 AM Dec 26 2015 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi, 



First, the pronunciation of prepositions is often reduced when people speak quickly. However, different people with different accents will reduce these words in slightly different ways, so be prepared to hear some variety.



In general, I agree that ‘for’ will often reduce to /fər/ when it is not at the beginning of a sentence. It will probably not change to /fer/ very often. This is because reducing vowels to /ə/ is very common in fast speech, but changing them to a stronger sound (like /e/) doesn’t happen as often (unless it is a feature of a specific regional accent). 



In general, I agree that ‘for’ will most likely be pronounced as /fɔ:r/ at the beginning of a sentence.



Best, 



Amy

11:50 AM Dec 26 2015 |

britdam007

britdam007

India

Thank you for the clarification. As per your instruction the other day I was going through the member profile of one of our Ebabay members named gohoos02 and I found out something very interesting regarding pronunciation of certain English words in fluent speech. It is basically a list of contractions that I learnt from his blog which are quite helpful. But I’d like to verify them with you anyway because it’s always good to learn them from the horse’s mouth. The contractions are:


 Your [yer]
 You’re [yer]




c   can [kin]
 for [fer]
 has [‘as]
 who [‘oo]
 just [juss]
your [yer]
are [er]
 can [kin]
 them [‘em]
 her [‘er]
 behind you [behind ju]


 how to [how ta]
 next [nex’ - the final “t” disappears]
 just [juss -
the final “t” disappears]
and a half [‘n a half]
 your [yer]
 your [yer]
Because [cuz]
 trying to [this phrase has three fast pronunciations:  tryin’ ta, tryin’ da, tryinna]
 I’m going to [I’monna]
 I’m going to [I’monna]
 want to [wanna]
get to [get ta]
need to [need ta]


<!-[if !supportLists]->·         <!-[endif]->1 Comment 



trying to [tryinna]


For Your [yer] and You’re [yer] I have got questions for you. According to this person the pronunciation of the pronouns ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ are one and the same. Also the vowel sound according to him in [yer] is an [eh] sound {as in pet} . Do you think it’s right?So I need your advice on this?



Best regards,


Abhishek

05:27 AM Dec 27 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi,



Nice job finding some useful resources from other Ebaby! members! :)



This is a great list; however, be careful. This user isn’t using traditional IPA transcription. Instead, he seems to be spelling the pronunciation using the basic English alphabet and common US English pronunciations. For example, I would transcribe ‘your’ or ‘you’re’ as /jor/, using the International Phonetic Alphabet. ‘Yer’ is a great way to think about the same pronunciation, using typical English spelling and pronunciation patterns. 



To answer your question, I agree that almost all US English speakers pronounce ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ the same way. But they do not usually use the vowel /e/ (as in ‘day’ – /dei/).



Best,


Amy



05:18 PM Dec 28 2015 |

britdam007

britdam007

India

So according to you the contractions given by this person from the US can be used in conversational English? I feel it’s no different from the British English contactions except for the pronunciation of ‘your’ and ‘you’re.  Anyway I found out two more contractions from Cambridge Dictionary of Pronunciation that I’d like to mention here:


Did he speak to you? = Did’ee speak to you?


Did you have dinner?= Joo’ve dinner?


Do you think they’re OK?


Best  regards,


Abhishek

12:28 AM Dec 29 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi, 



I would agree that this type of ‘contracted’ speech is fairly similar between British and US English. There will be some vowel variation between accents, but the reduced speech is similar. Keep in mind that these are spoken ‘contractions’ and not written forms. We wouldn’t write, ‘I need ta get groceries,” but we often speak this way.



It’s the same with the two examples from Cambridge. They are common spoken reductions. 



Best, 



Amy



02:14 PM Dec 30 2015 |

britdam007

britdam007

India

In your corrrespondence with me you mentioned that there were some vovel variations between the UK and the US accent which is very certain. One thing I’d like to confirm with you here regarding the change of vowel sound that takes place quite frequently in US accent. Say for example,the words such as ‘nut, cut, but,tough, done, mud etc. can be trancibed as | kʌt|, | nʌt |, | bʌt |, | tʌf |, | dʌn |, | mʌd | respectively in RP. Here, as you know the inverted v symbol which is also known as “Stressed Schwa” (ʌ) sits between the respective consonant sounds. In UK English the use of this stressed schwa is quite frequent but if you consider vowel sounds in  American Phonetics this particular stressed schwa  (ʌ)doesn’t exist at all. When I was checking out the pronunciation of the above mentoned words with Webster’s Dictionary I was stunned! The Webster’s reccomends something else. Instead of  the stressed schwa (ʌ) they have used the normal schwa sound throughout (ə) which is quite contrary to the IPA. So according to the Webster’s the pronunciation of the above mentioned words should be  | kət|, | nət |, | bət |, | təf |, | dən | and | məd | respectively as the American accent does not recognise the use of( ʌ). Why do you think this disparity is there?



Best regards,


Abhishek

01:34 AM Dec 31 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi,



If we are generalizing about RP vs. typical US pronunciation, I agree with your divisions.



/ʌ/ is quite common in RP and much less common in general US pronunciation. These vowels will most often reduce to schwa when a US speaker is speaking these words in a sentence. However, I think it’s incorrect to say that /ʌ/ is never used in the US. It is simply used less often than it is in RP. The reasons for this are most likely historical and connected to the ‘practice’ that speakers put into using RP ‘correctly.’



Best,



Amy



11:14 AM Dec 31 2015 |

britdam007

britdam007

India

Thank you for the clarification and I wish you a Happy New Year 2016! Regarding the vowel sound I’d like to clarify something here about the vowel sound (æ)[as in cat]. Is this particular vowel sound one and the same for both the accents?



Best regards,


Abhishek

11:32 PM Dec 31 2015 |

Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi,



Happy New Year to you, too! :)



The vowel ‘a’ will take slightly different pronunciations in both British and US English, depending on its context. In a word like ‘cat,’ the two accents are fairly similar, and both generally use /æ/. However, there are some variations. For example, /æ/ is used a bit more in the US, and /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ a bit more in the UK. 



Here’s a link to an article on this topic that might interest you: http://bit.ly/1TvQKxK 



Best,



Amy

10:01 AM Jan 02 2016 |

britdam007

britdam007

India

Thank you for the link indeed! Do you think it’s easier for a beginner to learn the UK or the US accent?


Best regards,


Abhishek

03:25 AM Jan 03 2016 |