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it's July it's another month it's time

for another ask etj let's get straight

into those questions so I'd expect most

of you know this by now but every month

I do something called ask ETJ where I

post a picture on Instagram everybody

comments on it asking me questions to

answer in a video and of course we've

done that this week and now I have lots

of great questions to answer I don't

want to waste any time so we're going to

get straight into it right away let's

start with question number one this is a

really simple question but it's actually

really really important how do we

pronounce and this now I know why I've

been asked this because when natives

talk fast sometimes words become relaxed

we have this thing in English called

function words I talk about them all the

time in my pronunciation course and I'll

talk about them all the time on this

channel words like and can have a weak

relaxed form so instead of saying hi my

name is Elliot and this is my friend

John and this is my friend John I would

probably say hi my name is Elliot and

this is my friend John and this and this

so my name is Elliot and this is my

friend John what's happening is and is

becoming an and so what's happening is

we're missing the at the beginning of

and and it's becoming a schwa sound

uh-oh sound we're also missing the D at

the end of and so it's becoming and this

and this the D is dropping to make it

easier to pronounce the th at the

beginning of this but also we're

dropping the app at the beginning

because usually when words have a weak

form a way that we say them faster nine

times out of ten that way will be with

the vowel being changed to a schwa sound

the reason why is because the schwa

sound is the easiest sound to make

tongue just relaxed in the middle of the

mouth and this is my friend John so one

more time hi I'm Elliot

and this is my friend John I guess that

would be relevant if I actually had any

friends another great question I had was

Elliott how do I pronounce this word so

the reason why I was asked this is

because the stress placement can be

different and generally we have a

British way of pronouncing it stressing

it on a particular syllable and an

american way of pronouncing it with a

stress on a different syllable so let me

just tell you the british form because i

don't want to damage your ears with my

dreadful american accent so it would be

advertisement advertisement the stress

is on veut we have heard virtus Munt the

stress primary stress is on veut

advertisement so take that tone up

slightly on veut tone rises it becomes a

bit more pronounced and just a bit

stronger on that particular syllable and

there you go that's how we stress a

syllable advertisement this word is also

great for learning some of the trickiest

sounds in English we have the schwa

sound which happens twice ad virtus Munt

punt so it's happening twice the schwa

sound and remember the schwa is really

important to practice we also have the

earth sound in this word which is one of

the most difficult sounds for non-native

to pronounce and the virtus and then the

bowel sounds

hiss this sound is another one of the

most difficult sounds for non-natives to

pronounce so it's that in fact a great

word to just break down and practice all

of the sounds in it give it a try

do it slowly and then get faster but in

response to your question advertisement

the stress is on veut Americans do it

differently they pronounce it

differently but we're a British English

Channel so we're focusing on British

English southern British English if we

have to be precise my British English if

you have to be even more precise for the

really sensitive people that watch this

video and get offended difference

between very and very so the main

difference is of course the two vowel

sounds we have the

and the air okay there there there there

so firstly very it just has the X ound

very also has the X out but it has

another vowel attached to it which is a

schwa sound so in very it's very we have

air so imagine you're doing an a sound

and then you cut it out with a schwa air

watch my mouth yeah very very so very

short vowel fast very compared to very

another thing to know is this sound in

very that and Earth joining together

this is called a diphthong we have a few

of these in English and they are two

vowels combined together and they create

one vowel air is this one and it's

really important that we understand the

length of a diphthong is kind of in

between short vowel and a long vowel so

make sure you're kind of making this

sound a little bit longer than very

listen to me and the length very very

very quick very a bit longer right there

you go very very and a more personal

question Elliot are you learning any

languages at the moment my problem in

life is I always start learning a

language and then I get bored and give

up probably because I work so much that

I'm always working and I don't really

have much time to learn languages I'm

trying to learn Spanish I'm not very

diligent with it but I'm hoping that I

can be in the future I'm just going to

keep trying to work hard the reason why

I'm learning Spanish is because I go to

Spain a lot it's a very country country

that's very close to the UK so it's easy

to travel there and yeah I spend lots of

time there so


hopefully one day I'll be able to have a

Spanish conversation with someone but I

can speak a bit of French

that's probably my best language and I

hope in the future that I could be

fluent in everything that would be

useful especially for my job so this

question was the most hearted the most

loved on my Instagram somebody who asked

this was obviously very popular with

from asking this question and it was can

a non-native who's learnt the American

accent kind of in school change their

accent through a British accent

and the truth is yes you can but it

depends on you it depends how hard you

work it depends how much you want it it

depends on just about everything we can

change an accent I could start learning

the American accent and doing muscle

memory training and eventually I would

start teaching my muscles to change it

takes a long time but with the right

training for example if you join my

course it can happen faster you're not

you're never gonna be 100% but we can

get you into the 90 to 95 percent area

eventually after some time of repetition

practice muscle memory training it's a

process of elimination

so at the moment you're pronouncing

sounds this way the American /

non-native way we need to learn what

sounds are very obviously American what

things you're doing which are very

obviously American for example

pronouncing her at the end of words very

American thing pronouncing the

sound as are like a lot rather than a

lot learning to remove those things and

replace them with something new and with

repetition and time it will eventually

kind of change remember that an accent

is making sounds naturally without

thinking about making the sounds you

just make them and to start doing that

it requires lots of repetition and Pratt

and I love this question Elliot how can

I sound more friendly with my intonation

it's it's quite a simple answer actually

and is one of the first things I teach

my students who join my course because

lots of my students talk with what we

call a falling tone a lot of the time or

just a monotone where the tone doesn't

really go up or down this in English in

native English isn't particularly

friendly I mean it is it there's nothing

bad about it but it can have quite a

boring kind of flat effect now if we

start raising the tone a bit more you

heard me then if we start raising the

tone I'm not just saying if we start

raising the tone I'm saying if we start

raising the tone a bit more and what's

going to happen is we're going to create

more of an approachable friendly sound

to our voice so my answer to you really

is just start raising your tone a bit

more be more playful with your

intonation and as a particular tone

called the up-down tone none of my

students really do this when they first

join my course and the sound essentially

or the tone is essentially mm-hmm so

it's up-down and this is used a lot to

show emotion so whether it's positive or

negative emotion for example if somebody

said to me hi Elliot you're right I

could say yeah I'm great so yeah what's

happening there is I'm raising the tone

up in the word and then I'm bringing it

back down I'm essentially singing a

little bit on that word yeah yeah what

that does is it creates a friendly happy

atmosphere in my opinion happiness is

friendliness so if you want to sound

more friendly try and sound more happy

to sound more happy raise your tone a

bit more or do the up/down kind of

bouncy tones the more we do this the

more approachable happy and friendly we

will sound and that's it those are my

answers to your questions this month

remember I'll be doing another ASCII DJ

next month in August so make sure you

hit the subscribe button and follow me

on Instagram if you want to send me more

questions don't forget I have a podcast

if you need some listening practice and

of course if you want me to be your

teacher and you want me to help you

directly then you can join my

pronunciation course at ETJ English comm

links in the description box below and

we can start changing your accent right

now faster than it would be if you were

learning alone especially so thanks very

much for watching guys it's been a

pleasure as always and I will see you

next time bye hi


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