Reduced Speech in American Spoken English

Reduced Speech in American Spoken English

I get a lot of questions from my accent reduction coaching clients about the reduced speech forms they hear when listening to American English conversations.

Examples of reduced speech include: gonna, wanna and hafta.

Reduced speech isn’t sloppy!

You may have been taught that using reduced speech is sloppy.

I disagree with that idea.

Reduced speech is more efficient

When it comes to everyday speech, using reductions makes your speech more efficient. That’s because you’re not stopping to articulate every word.

Instead, you’re emphasizing the important words and de-emphasizing the less important words using reductions.

Reduced speech sounds more natural

Using reduced speech will enable your spoken English to sound more natural. Americans (whether they realize it or not) use reduced speech all the time.

Research on reduced speech

Here is a link to Nina Weinstein has done scientific research on the amount of reduced speech that Americans use. Follow the link below to hear her discuss this on the Voice of America.

Research on reduced speech.

About the author

Susan Ryan is the author of the ConfidentVoice blog and an accent reduction coach.