Practice English Speaking&Listening with: FLUENT ENGLISH: The “H” Reduction in American English Pronunciation | Rachel’s English

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How much do you know about reductions?

How much do you use them when speaking English?

Reductions are one of the best ways to sound natural when speaking English,

and knowing them will also be one of the best ways to improve your listening comprehension.

In this video, were going to dive deep on some of my favorite reductions

and youll get so many examples of these reductions in real spoken English

that you will absolutely be able to start identifying these in conversation better

and feel more confident using these reductions when speaking English.

Function words that begin with H likehe’, ‘him’, ‘her’, ‘have’ — theyre often pronounced WITHOUT the H sound.

I realized that I have lots of videos from real English conversations where we study these reductions,

but that in any one of these videos, you may hear a reduction just once or twice.

I thought, Ive been making videos for 10 years now,

I have to make a compilation of all the examples from real life English that I have of these reductions.

When you hear many examples of a reduction that youre studying,

it almost guarantees that youll start to identify it in other English

conversation, movies, TVto improve your listening comprehension.

Youll also have lots of examples to study with.

Watch the video once, then go back and watch the examples again and pause after each sentence.

Say it out loud.

Train your mind to think of this reduction.

First, lets play the video where I go over how to make these reductions and how theyre used.

Youve got to know that first.

Then well jump into the examples.

Today were going to talk about the situation with the letter H beginning a word.

Lets look at the following sentence as an example: Ill tell her were leaving.

Ill tell her were leaving.

Ill tell her were leaving.

Ill tell her were leaving.

Could you tell a difference in the two different ways I pronounced this?

Ill tell hererI didnt pronounce the H inher’.

Ill tell her were leaving.

I reduced the wordherby leaving out the H.

Perhaps youve noticed this.

Native speakers do it quite a lot.

Now, if you drop the H, you have to be certain that you link it to the word before.

Tell her, tell her, its almost like it becomes one word.

Teh-ler, tell her.

How do you think Im going to pronounce this phrase?

Im going to drop the H, reducing the wordhe’.

And because Im going to do that, I want to make sure that I really link things.

So Im actually going to almost think of the Z sound as beginning a wordzi’.

Wuh-zi there?

Was he there?

Was he there?

Try saying that all very smooth and linked.

Was he there?

Was he there?

Before we go further, lets talk quickly about punctuation.

A period, a comma, a colon, a semicolon, a dash: these things will all signify a stop, a break, a pause.

So, we dont want to link sounds over that kind of punctuation.

Lets take a look at an example sentence.

At first he never came; he now comes regularly.

Notice there was that pause there where the semicolon is.

And because of that I didnt link, and I didnt drop the H inhethe second time.

He now comes regularly.

At first he never came: I do drop that H, reducing the word and linking.

At first he, at first he, at first he never came; he now comes regularly.

So weve looked atheandher’, what are some other possibilities?

If were going to reduce a word, it has to be an unstressed word.

So lets review what words will be stressed and which ones will be unstressed.

Content words are stressed.

These are nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, in general.

Function words will be unstressed.

These are words that dont have a meaning on their own, likewithorif’.

These are prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and helping verbs.

So, common function words beginning with H: has, have, had.

These are helping verbs.

Example: What have you done?

What have you done?

Notice that the H is dropped inhave’, and the vowel is actually reduced from AA to the schwa: uv, uv, uv.

That is how were pronouncing the wordhavein the sentence.

What have, what have, what have you done?

And do note that its linked to everything around it.

What have you, what have you, what have you done?

Another example: my friend has seen it twice.

The wordhasis pronounced without the H and again, the vowel sound is reduced to the schwa.

My friend has, has, has, my friend has seen it twice.

Also, again, it is linked to everything around it.

My friend has seen it twice.

How do you think I will pronounce 'her' here?

If you guessed 'er', you're right.

I saw her sister in Chicago.

I saw -er sister.

Saw her sister, saw her sister.

I saw her sister in Chicago.

And here, how will I pronouncehis’?

Iz, iz, I will drop that H.

What was his name again?

What was, iz, name again?

What was his name again?

What was his name again?

And how will I pronouncehim’?

I will drop that H.

Im, ‘Im.

I told him no.

I toldimno.

I told him no.

I told him no.

How will I pronouncehis’?

Im going to drop the H.

Do you remember John?

This is his sister.

This isissister.

This is his sister.

This video was made at a Christmas party I had with my housemates.

Youll hear aherreduction.

Jovan, that's also some excellent handiwork.

Tell her about the dots.

Tell her about the dots.

Did you notice the dropped H?

It's not uncommon to drop the beginning H in unaccented words like her, him, and his.

If you do this, always link it to the word before.

Tell her, tell her. Tell her about the dots.

Listen again.

Tell her about the dots.

Tell her about the dots.

Tell her about the dots.

Yes, this is actually Braille for cookie.

This video I shot at Coney Island with friends.

Youll hear anotherherreduction here.

We want funnel cake but we don't know if we can use our tickets!

Aaah! The frustration!

Why don't you just ask her?

It's common practice in english to drop the h in words like her, his, him.

So her becomes er, er.

Make sure that you link this to the word before.

Ask her, ask her, just ask her.

This smooths out the language and sounds more natural.

Why don't you just ask her?

Why don't you just ask her?

Why don't you just ask her?

I made this video when I was baking with my friend Laura.

Notice the dropped H inhave’.

So this needs to be 3 minutes...

Oh yeah, let that stand for 3 minutes and I took the clock out of the room because it was so freaking loud.

Okay.

Don't you have a watch on?

Did you notice that Laura dropped the H in 'have'?

This is a common reduction.

Dropping the H in function words like have, had, her, his.

You have a, you have a.

Don't you have a watch on?

Don't you have a watch on?

Don't you have a watch on?

Don't you have a watch on?

Don't you have a watch on?

Heres another video where Im baking with my same friend Laura, only a few years later.

Were still using dropped H reductions!

Here, its the dropped H inhim’.

And the babys up.

Okay, let me go get him.

Let me go get him.

A couple reductions here.

Let mebecomes lemme.

And the H is dropped inhim’.

Dropping the H in this word is a really common reduction.

When we do this, it sounds just like when we dropped the TH inthem’.

'Get him' becomes get im, just like 'put them' was put em.

The flap T links the words and the reduction of 'them' and 'him' are the exact same sounds schwa and m.

Get em.

Put em.

Okay, let me go get him.

Okay, let me go get him.

Okay, let me go get him.

Can you look right there?

Say Hi! I just had a nice nap.

Can you say: Hey everybody!

Here, were watching a tennis match between members of my family.

Youll hear a dropped H inhimandher’.

Don't go easy on him Ernie!

Easy on him.

What do you notice about the word 'him'?

No H.

We pronounce 'him' this way a lot.

Just like 'our', when it's reduced, think of adding an extra syllable to the end of the word before it.

On him, on him.

Easy on him.

Listen again.

Don't go easy on him Ernie!

Don't go easy on him Ernie!

Don't go easy on him Ernie!

Let me go check on him.

Here's another 'him' reduction.

Check on him.

On him, on him, on him.

Listen again.

Check on him.

Check on him.

Check on him.

Same vacation, no more tennis.

Another dropped H in 'him'.

Is he messing up your coloring?

Is he messing you up?

Should we move him?

Move him.

Dropped H in 'him'.

Move him.

Move him.

Should we move him?

Should we move him?

Should we move him?

Yeah!

No. No.

Tell him no!

In this video, my family is meeting my first son for the first time.

Its another dropped H inhim

How is it to hold him?

Oh, how is it?

Oh, I dont know. Its beyond description.

How is it to hold him?

What do you notice about the word him in this phrase?

How is it to hold him?

How is it to hold him?

How is it to hold him?

The h was dropped.

Hold him, hold him.

And the two words linked together with no gap in between.

This is a very common conversational pronunciation of function words that begin with H like him,

her, his, have, has, and had.

How is it to hold him?

In this video, Im at a nature reserve with my family.

A dropped H inhave’.

First, we chatted with a ranger.

Wait, we came, he's never, some of these people have never seen a gator before.

Here's an example of a dropping the H reduction.

Instead ofpeople have’, i said: people uv--

dropping the h and reducing the ah vowel to the schwa.

Nowhavejust sounds like a third unstressed syllable at the end of people.

People uv, people uv.

Try that with me.

People have, people have.

Listen again.

Wait, we came, he's never, some of these people have never

Some of these people have never

Some of these people have never seen a gator before.

There you go, many examples from my past 10 years of making videos on these reductions.

He, him, her, have, had, has.

Dropping the H in these words is so common in natural English.

Watch this video a few times, pause, and say the examples out loud.

This will focus your brain on the reductions

and youll start to notice it more and more as you hear them around you.

You look like youre interested in a full playlist of other reductions in American English.

You know Ive got that covered for you.

Click here or in the description below.

Thats it, and thanks so much for using Rachels English!

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