Reduced Speech in American English

Reduced Speech

reduced speech

Godda go!

In order to speak American English in a way that sounds natural to the native listener, you need to use reduced speech.

If you’re not familiar with the term reduced speech, think of it as groups of common words that include silent T sounds, tapped T sounds and schwa sounds.

Here are some examples of reduced speech

  • woulda
  • shoulda
  • godda
  • gonna
  • hafta
  • wanna

Some people resist

Sometimes the people who I work with in my accent reduction coaching programs resist using reduced speech forms.

They often tell me~

Susan, in my country the English teachers told us not to speak that way. They told us it sounds sloppy and uneducated.

Okay, I get that. However…..

Research on reduced speech

Americans use reduced speech forms all the time. In fact, research by Nina Weinstein, author of Whaddaya Say?, found that American speakers use reduced forms once every two minutes.

I think it’s probably even more!

Speak with a melody that’s familiar to the American listener

If you use reduced forms you’ll speak American English with a smoother, more familiar melody; a melody that Americans enjoy listening to.

People will understand you as long as you emphasize your focus words.

To learn related tips for speaking clear and fluent American English click on one of the posts below.

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