So what is connected speech in English and why do you need to know about it?

When we speak naturally, our words can have an effect on each other. For example, we don't always pronounce each word separately, with the result that this can make it difficult to listen to some native speakers.

5 facts to know about connected speech

  1. Catenation or Linking - Linking happens when the end of one word connects to another word. For example, "He's holding an egg.", will sound like "He's holding anegg."
  2. Intrusion - Intrusion happens when another sound inserts itself between two other sounds. For example, "I think law and order is very important.", will sound like "I think law-r-and order is very important."
  3. Elision - Elision is the opposite of intrusion because it is when a sound disappears. For example, "I prefer steamed potatoes.", will sound like "I prefer steampotatoes."
  4. Assimilation - Assimilation happens when two sounds join together and create a new sound. For example, "Don't you want me?", will sound like "Don't chew want me?"
  5. Gemination - Geminates are two sounds that are next to each other. For example, "He looks sad.", will sound like "He lookssad."

In the following film clip, the main character does not understand the air steward.

Test yourself

Which of the 5 facts listed above is the film clip an example of?