In the US, summer is for sand, sun, and blockbuster
movies. And this summer, we’re going to use those movies to learn English and study how
to sound American. Every video this summer is going to be a study English with movies
video. We’ll pull scenes from the summer’s hottest movies, as well as favorite movies
from years past. It’s amazing what we can discover by studying even a small bit of English
dialogue. We’ll study how to understand movies, what makes Americans sound American, and of
course, any interesting vocabulary phrasal verbs or idioms that come up in the scenes
we study. I call this kind of exercise a Ben Franklin Exercise. First, we’ll watch the
scene. Then we’ll do an in-depth analysis of what we hear together. This is going to
be so much fun! Be sure to tell your friends and spread the word that all summer long,
every Tuesday, we’re studying English with movies here at Rachel’s English. Let’s get started. First, the scene. Situation? Lost toy. Side yard. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Raise the blinds. They have names? You never told me that. You never asked. Where is he? There. How do we reach him? Operation pull-toy. Slink? You got it, Woody. Barbies. Go. Now, the analysis. Situation? What is the melody, the song of this word? If you had to just hum the tune of this word, what would
you what would you hum? To me it sounds like this. Mm-hmm. Very clearly, it goes up at the end. Situation? What does that mean at the end that it goes up? That means it’s a question. She’s asking for information. She’s like what’s going on? Situation? It’s very different than: situation. Where the pitch goes down. That’s a statement. Pitch goes up makes it a question. Asking for information. Situation? Situation? Situation? Lost toy. Side yard. Lost toy. Side yard.
Okay, so he has a little bit of…In his voice because he’s pulling himself up. But it’s
two little sentences put together into one thought group. Let’s look at how he links
everything together. First, the word ‘lost’ and the word ‘toy’. Lost toy. Lost toy. Lost toy. Lost toy. He links them together with a single letter T, a true T. Any word that begins with a T that is a stressed word, is going to be a true T. Toy, toy, toy. The exception is if
it’s in a TR cluster, then it might be CH, like the word train. But if it’s just T, not
in a cluster, it is gonna be a true T if it starts a stressed word or syllable. Lost toy.
Link those together with a single T. Try that. Lost toy. Lost toy. Lost toy. Lost toy. Side yard. Whoa! Different day, different outfit, important
announcement. Did you know that with this video, I made a free audio lesson that you
can download? In fact, I’m doing this for each one of the youtube videos I’m making
this summer, all 11 of the learn English with movies videos. So follow this link, or find
the link in the video description to get your free downloadable audio lesson. It’s where
you’re going to train all of the things that you’ve learned about pronunciation in this
video. Back to the lesson. Lost toy. Side yard. Okay. So no break, I
put a period there, but there was no break. The OY diphthong goes right into the S. Side
yard. And the D goes right into Y. So there’s no release of the D. If I did release it,
if he did release it, it would sound like this: side yard, side yard, side, side, side
yard. But it’s not that clear, its side yard. So my tongue is in position for the D. I do
vibrate the vocal chords, it’s a voiced sound, side yard. But rather than releasing the tongue
tip down, I go right into the Y consonant. That helps the two words link together more smoothly. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. And the final D I don’t even really hear.
So I wouldn’t say, I would also say it’s no release. I think he does voice it. Side yard.
It’s just that it’s a subtle sound, and she starts speaking, the music starts, so we sort
of lose it. But just know this is a common pronunciation for D especially when it links
into another consonant, is that we don’t release it. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. If we were linking into a word that began
with the vowel or diphthong, it would sound more released. Like if I was going to say
the words ‘side of’ together, it would sound like this: side of– duf, duf, duf. Then the
tongue is coming down, it is releasing into the vowel. But here, we go right from the
voiced to D into the next consonant. Side yard. Side yard. Side yard. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Okay, so she calls her three sheep. And each
of them is its own little thought group of a stressed single syllable. What is the melody
of that stress syllable? Actually I need to correct myself, it’s not single. Billy is
a two-syllable word. Okay, but what is the shape of stress? Billy. Goat. Gruff. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Uh-uh– It’s up down. That is the shape of stress. Billy. Goat. Gruff. And actually,
I love that we have an opportunity here to talk about the fact that this word is two
syllables, this word is one, this one is one, but they still all have the same shape because
the second unstressed syllable here just falls into the same line of pitch. Billy. There’s
no skip, there’s no change, I just change syllables as my voice continues to smoothly
come down. Goat. Stop T. Gruff. So it’s this little up-down shape that makes a stressed
syllable. And the unstressed syllable in Billy just falls into that same line. Really smoothly
connected. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds! What are our stressed words
here? Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds! Raise and blinds, both stressed,
the word ‘the’ unstressed, but does connect in smoothly. So raise goes up and as it comes
down, we get the word ‘the’ at the bottom before the voice goes back up for blinds.
Raise the blinds. Uhhh– uuhhh– We’re really talking a lot about intonation here. I just
want you to be aware of how smooth all the words are when they link together and also
what does a stress syllable sound like. It has an up-down shape of stress. The unstressed
syllables are lower in pitch, but they all connect into the same line without a skip. Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds! Now, one last thing I want to talk about here
is the D sound. So here, side yard, we linked right into the next consonant, we didn’t release
the D. Here, the D comes between two sounds, two consonant sounds, N and the Z sound, blinds,
and she drops it. It’s a common thing to do to drop T or D between two other consonants.
Why do we do that? For smoothness. To make things smooth, and we still totally get the
meaning. No one would ever think: Oh my goodness, she didn’t make the D sound! It’s just so
natural, it’s the way we speak. So do it that way too, it will make it more simple, and
you’ll likely find it easier to say: blinds, blinds, blinds. Very light weak Z sound at
the end, no D. Blinds, blinds, blinds. They have names? They have names? Quieter. They have names? Intonation goes up again because it’s a question. In this case, it’s
a yes/no question. They have– and the word ‘have’ lower in pitch, but smoothly connects.
I actually shouldn’t write that with breaks. I don’t want you to think there’s any break,
there’s not. They have names? It sounds just the same way that a three syllable word would.
It’s a three syllable thought group, made up of three separate one syllable words, but they all go together smoothly. They have names? They have names? They have names? You never told me that. What are our stressed words here? You never told me that. You never told me that. You never told me that. You never told me that. Pitch goes up a little bit at the end. Why does the pitch go up here? It’s not a question.
True. I would say it’s going up because it’s a little bit of showing surprise, exasperation.
You never told me that. It’s like whoa, hey, I can’t believe that! So that’s why I would
say the intonation goes up a little bit at the end. You never, never, never. Flatter, lower in
pitch, it’s a valley compared to ‘you’ and ‘told’. You never told me that. And let’s
look at the D in ‘told’. Comes after an L before an M, the two words linked together so it comes between two consonants. Does he make a D sound? You never told me that. You never told me that. You never told me that. I don’t hear it. Told me, told me, told me
that, told me that. I believe it is dropped. When you study how Americans speak, you see
how often we simplify things. And it’s still clear because it’s our habit. Everyone’s on
the same page with these simplifications. But wow, if you really tried to precisely
and fully make every sound in American English, you can see how it would be so hard to do
it, and sound smooth, and sound fluent. And so that is why we really need to study what
Americans do, because you probably weren’t taught this in school. And this is where you
can learn it, so that you can see how Americans really are talking, so that you can speak
more easily, and speak with more confidence, have more fluency, and be more easily understood. You never told me that. You never told me that. You never told me that. And he does a stop T at the end of the word
‘that’. That. We usually do that with T’s at the end of a thought group, or also when
they’re followed by a word that begins with a consonant. You never told me that. You never told me that. You never told me that. You never asked. You never asked. You never asked. Asked–
the most stressed syllable there. Stress syllable of ne– also has some of that shape. You never asked. You never asked. You never
asked. Everything really smoothly links together.
OO right into the N and the R right into the vowel AH. Never ah– no break there, nothing
showing me it’s a different word. Just smooth connection. You never asked. You never asked. You never asked. Now what are the rules for ED endings? The
rule is when the sound before is unvoiced, like this K, it’s a T. So we have a single
syllable, five letters but just one syllable the AH vowel, S consonant, K consonant, T
consonant. So we have a cluster here of three consonants. It’s common to drop the K here.
We’ve talked about dropping the D between two consonants. We also do that with the K.
I can’t say if we do it in every case, but I know we do it in this word a lot. So ‘asked’
becomes: asked, asked, you never asked. Now, I do think I hear her doing a light K here.
Asked. But that’s not usual. Much more common to drop the K, and just say: asked, you never
asked. You never asked. You never asked. You never asked. Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? All linked together
and we have a great reduction. First, what’s our stressed word there? Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? Always look for the peak of pitch.
So here, it’s the word ‘is’, someone is missing, they want to know his location. Where is he?
Where is he? The ending R links right into the IH vowel, really smooth. Then with the
word ‘he’ we have a reduction, the H is dropped. This is a really common reduction with he
or him. The H is dropped and we just have the IH vowel. Sorry, the EE vowel. And that
links right into the word before. ‘Is’ is pronounced with the Z sound. So we have the Z sound right into the EE vowel. Zee, zee, zee. Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? Where is he? There! There! There! It’s short. There’s urgency
in the voice, but I still get the sense of the up-down shape. There. There. It’s certainly
not: there, there, there. Flat. There, there, there. A little rounded word, a little hop.
There. There. There. There! There! There! How do we reach him? Okay, in this thought group, how do we reach
him? What are our stressed words? Our peak in pitch? Our mountains in the melody? How do we reach him? How do we reach him? How do we reach him? How do we reach him?
How and reach, do we, lower in pitch, connect in, in the valley, and him, comes down off
the end of ‘reach’ as the pitch of the voice goes down. How do we reach him? All really
smoothly connected. Now, we already talked about the reduction of he, I mentioned we
do this with him too. And look! Here’s an example. The H is dropped, it’s just the IH
vowel and the M consonant. Now, I want to say, when we do this, when we drop the H,
we always link the word on to the word before. So we go right from the CH sound to the IH
vowel, no break. If you did a break, the reduction wouldn’t sound right. So chim– chim– reach
him– reach him– How do we reach him? How do we reach him? How do we reach him? How do we reach him? Operation pull-toy. Okay. Operation pull-toy. What is the most
stressed syllable or word there? Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. We have some stress on the stressed syllable,
operation, and then the most stressed, operation pull-toy, on the word ‘pull’ and the word
‘toy’ falls off and pitch as we come off of that peak for pull. Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. Operation. First syllable stress. Now, you
see the letter O, I know my students can be very tempted to round their lips, say something
like: oh, oh, oh, but there’s no lip rounding, it’s not an O like vowel, but it’s the AH
vowel like in father. AH– operation, operation pull-toy. Operation– Operation– Operation pull-toy. Pull– This word can be tricky. P consonant,
the vowel like what is in push, UH, and the L, pull. The L here is a dark L because it
comes after the vowel in the syllable. And I don’t really think you need to try to make
the UH vowel then a dark sound, then lift the tip for the L. Pull toy. When I do that,
I really just make two sounds, the P sound, and the dark sound for the dark L before I
make the T. I don’t lift my tongue tip. Pull toy. I lift it only to get in position for
the T, which is a true T. Pull-toy. Pull-toy. Pull-toy. Pull-toy. So for the dark L, we make that
not with the tongue tip, tongue tip stays down, but we make it with the back of the
tongue. Uhl, uhl, uhl, uhl, pull toy. Pull, see if you can work on the word pull by itself without lifting your tongue tip. It might be a really strong habit, try to fight that. Try to make the uhl sound with the back of your tongue. Pull. Pull toy. Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. Operation pull-toy. Slink? Slink? Slink? Pitch goes up, it’s a question.
He’s like saying are you there? Are you listening? So if someone says Rachel? I know that they’re
wondering if it’s me, they’re wondering where I am, it’s always a question when the pitch
goes up like that. Slink? Slink? Slink? You got it, Woody! You got it, Woody! All right, I love what’s
happening with the pitch here. You got it. The word ‘you’, the pitch is going up, because
the pitch is on ‘got’ and we want all of the pitch to be smoothly transitioning. You got
it, Woody! And then we have another little bit of a mountain on that stressed syllable
‘Woo–‘ You got it, Woody! Got it. Got it. These two
words linked together with a flap T. This is how the D sounds in American English between
vowels, and we link two words with a flap T, or we make a T a flap T when it comes to
between two vowel sounds. Now here, the T is followed by a consonant. That’s going to
be a stop T. You got it. It, it, it’s not it, with the released T, but it’s it, with
a stop T, my tongue goes into position, or I cut off the air with my vocal cords, it,
and that’s a stop. You got it, Woody! You got it, Woody! You got it, Woody! You got it, Woody! Barbies! Go! Barbies! Barbies! The up-down shape again, it’s a single thought
group. It’s two syllables, the first syllable is stressed, and the second syllable falls
into the intonation as the voice goes down. Barbies. Now, this is different than ‘Slink?’
where the intonation went up. He was like are you there? Are you paying attention? She’s
not asking anything. She is commanding. Barbies. So pitch goes down. It’s a statement. Barbies. Go. Barbies! Barbies! Barbies! Go! So she’s shouting ‘go’, intonation is higher.
Go! Go! But it still has that up-down shape even though it’s fast, it’s not flat. Go,
go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go. It still has that up-down shape. Go! Go! Go! I liked this scene because there were so many
short thought groups. And I feel like that really lets us focus in on that up-down shape
of what we want in a stressed syllable. Let’s watch the whole scene one more time. Situation? Lost toy. Side yard. Billy. Goat. Gruff. Raise the blinds. They have names? You never told me that. You never asked. Where is he? There. How do we reach him? Operation pull-toy.>>Slink?
>>You got it, Woody. Barbies. Go. We’re going to be doing a lot more of this
kind of analysis together. What movie scenes would you like to see analyzed like this? Let me know in the comments! And if you want to see all my Ben Franklin videos, click here! You’ll also find the link in the video description. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s