Linking Words Together Helps Reduce Choppy Speech

linkingMany non-native English speakers sound “choppy” when they speak American English.

That’s because (to the American ear) they speak word by word.

This often happens when Italian, Chinese, Korean & Japanese speakers speak American English.

When you speak English with a choppy, word by word rhythm it creates accented speech that is difficult for native speakers to listen to. ☹

One effective accent reduction technique you can use to correct choppy speech is to use linking.

American English speakers link many words together, especially the smaller function words such as the, and, in, but, or.

Linking creates smooth transitions between words in a phrase or sentence and gives your speech a smooth, more melodious sound. ♫

Here are 3 rules you should use to link words together when you speak English.

1. When the same consonant sound is found at the end of the first word and the beginning of the next word pronounce them as one long sound (Consonant +Consonant). For example:

  • team mate sounds like teammate
  • that time sounds like thattime
  • bus stop sounds like busstop

2. When a consonant sound ends one word and is followed by a vowel sound make the consonant sound part of the second word (Consonant +Vowel). For example:

  • save it sounds like savit
  • called up sounds like calledup
  • turn around sounds like turnaround

3. When a vowel sound is at the end of one word and the beginning of the next word add a /y/ or a /w/ sound between them (Vowel + Vowel). For example:

  • sounds like do/w/ it
  • sounds like see /y/it
  • sounds like I/y/ am

Here is some more information on linking and liaisons in American English.

In my accent reduction coaching program I teach people to speak more smoothly using the linking rules & techniques that I described above.

My clients often comment that LINKING is one of the more effective and enjoyable accent reduction techniques for speaking American English more smoothly. ✵✵