Linking between words

When you listen to spoken English, it very often sounds smooth, rather than staccato. One of the ways we achieve this is to link sounds between words.

Using a /r/ sound

For example, we use a /r/ sound between two vowel sounds (when one word ends with a vowel sound of ‘uh’ (as in the final sound of banana); ‘er’ (as in the final sound of murder); and ‘or’ (as in the final sound of or). The /r/ sound happens when the next word starts with a vowel.

A matter of opinion = “A matte – rof opinion”

Murder is a crime = “Murde – ris a crime”

For example = “Fo – rexample”.

Using a /w/ sound

We use a /w/ sound when the first word ends in a ‘oo’ sound (as in you); or an ‘oh’ sound (as in no) or an ‘ow’ sound (as in now)

Who are your best friends? = “Who – ware – your …..”

No you don’t = “No – wyou don’t”

Now I know = “No – wI – know”

Using a /j/ sound

If you say the words “I” and “am” quickly, the sound between is a /ya/ sound. You can probably feel the sound at the back of your mouth, as the bottom of your mouth comes up to meet the top. The /j/ sound can link words which end with an /ai/ sound (I) or an /ey/ sound (may).

I am English = I – yam English

May I go? = May – jI go?

Consonant and vowel

When one word ends with a consonant (and the next begins with a vowel sound) use the final consonant to link.

An + apple sounds like a – napple.

Don’t add an extra vowel after that consonant. So it’s a – napple, rather than a – n – a apple.

Here are some more examples of consonants linking to vowels:

At all = “A – tall”

Speak up = “Spea – kup”

Right away = “Righ – taway”

Leave it = “Lea – vit”

School again = “Schoo – lagain”