Want smooth American speech? Use contractions!

Want Smooth American Speech? Use Contractions!

Use contractions for smooth American speech

Use contractions for smooth American speech

Many of the people who I work with in my accent reduction coaching program resist using contractions when they speak.

I tell them, that in American English you should DEFINITELY speak using contractions!

…..especially when you’re speaking in informal or casual situations.

Why Should You Use Contractions?

When you use contractions your speech sounds less formal.

You’ll sound more natural and more friendly.

Try This

Here’s a pronunciation tip for saying contractions in a smooth way~

When you say contractions with the consonants D & N,

  1. The D is held (said without much force).
  2. The sound of N is kinda long.
  3. The T is held (said without much force)

Listen Here


Written Contraction         Spoken Contraction

didn’t                                             di’nnn’
hadn’t                                            ha’nnn’
couldn’t                                        coul’nnn’
shouldn’t                                      shoul’nnn’
wouldn’t                                       woul’nnn’

Could your hear the way I held the sounds of D & T?

This Might Feel Uncomfortable to You

When my accent reduction coaching clients first try these contracted pronunciations, they say that it feels uncomfortable.

However, after they practice these contracted forms, they realize that their speech sounds smoother and more natural. ♬

Written & Spoken English Are Not The Same

Keep in mind that written English and spoken English are very different.

We don’t say every written sound clearly and distinctly.

If you want your speech to sound more American, don’t do that!

People With Advanced Degrees

People with advanced degrees that focused on academic and written English, often need to learn the rules for speaking.

If you’re an international professional who wants to learn to speak American English with a smoother, more natural sound, see how my American accent training programs for professionals can help you.

 About the Author

Susan Ryan is the author of this blog and an accent reduction coach. Contact her with your questions about speaking with a clear American accent.