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Word Reductions

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English speakers often shorten sounds and/or words in their speech. This is called REDUCTION. The words that are generally reduced are function words that don’t carry much meaning, such as pronouns (he, she, his, her, them), articles (a, an, the) and prepositions (in, to).
Listen to the audio below as you read the sentences.  When you become familiar with the sounds, download and take the quiz.

  1. I’m gonna buy that new car. I am going to buy that new car.
  2. How‘bout eating at Joe’s? How about eating at Joe’s?
  3. Couldya give’em this book? Could you give him this book?
  4. Tell’er we’ll be back tomorrow. Tell her we will be back tomorrow.
  5. Didya go last night? Did you go last night?
  6. You hafta pay your bills. You have to pay the bills.
  7. She hasta take the test yet. She has to take the test yet.
  8. Whadcha think about the new teacher? What do you think about the new teacher?
  9. Whadya do last night? What did you do last night?
  10. Do you wanna go shopping tomorrow? Do you what to go shopping tomorrow?

Because these words don’t carry as much meaning as content words, don’t worry if you don’t understand all of them.  It is more important for you just to know they are there, then to learn all of them.  In time you will understand more and more and be able to even use them in your speech.

Richard Carrigan

Richard Carrigan has been an educator for over 30 years. He has experience teaching professional and academic English. He earned his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.

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