English Pronunciation

Linking Continuous Consonants and Vowels

At its simplest, linking vowel sounds and continuous consonant sounds requires only blending from one sound into the next. Therefore, the linked words my seat and mice eat could both be transcribed as /mɑɪsit/. For the beginner English learner, that is enough to know. However, intermediate and advanced learners may want a more complete understanding.

Despite the identical broad transcription of my seat and mice eat, there are slight differences in the pronunciations of these linked words. To show the small, allophonic variations of the sounds's pronunciation, we'll use narrow transcriptions (denoted by the [ ] symbols).

How to link the continuous consonants and vowels |

A continuous consonant sound at the beginning of a word is pronounced for slightly more time than the same continuous consonant sound at the end of a word. Therefore, the /s/ in the word seat is pronounced for more time than the /s/ in the word mice. The longer /s/ can is represented as [sː] in narrow transcription (using ː to denote the lengthened sound).

Because of the change in sound duration, a careful listener can perceive differences between my seat and mice eat, even when the words are fully linked.


    Broad transcription Narrow transcription
my‿seat /mɑɪsit/ [mɑɪːsːit] (longer duration /s/)
mice‿eat /mɑɪsit/ [mɑɪsit] (shorter duration /s/)

Practice linking from a continuous consonant into a vowel sound:

1. an‿exception Can't you make an‿exception?
2. give‿up Alex will (Alex'll) never give‿up.
3. leave‿after He said he'd leave‿after the reception.
4. laugh‿at It's healthy to be able to laugh‿at yourself.
5. because‿of School was cancelled because‿of all the snow.
6. those‿answers Those‿answers won't solve the problem.
7. press‿enter Type your password, then press‿enter.
8. dress‿up Is it the kind of restaurant you dress‿up for?
9. fix‿it Pam tried to fix‿it, but it was too late.
10. his‿uncle His‿uncle is an opera singer.

Practice linking from a vowel sound into a continuous consonant:

1. money‿from Luke inherited the money‿from his father.
2. issue‿with There's never been an issue‿with it.
3. know‿very‿much I don't know‿very‿much about it.
4. extra‿help Thanks for all the extra‿help.
5. simplify‿their They're trying to simplify‿their lives.
6. a‿look Could you take a‿look at this?
7. he‿never He‿never finished his degree.
8. busy‿man Walter's a very busy‿man.
9. revenue‿streams They've diversified through multiple revenue‿streams.
10. agree‿with/idea‿that I agree‿with the idea‿that simpler is better.

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Linking Vowels and Continuous Consonants

Linking Continuous Consonants into Vowels

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