English Pronunciation

Linking Vowels into Vowels

Linking Vowels Using /w/ or /y/

To create a smooth, fluid link from a word ending in a vowel sound into a word beginning with a vowel sound, a very small /y/ or /w/ is added between the words, connecting one word to the next. This allows both vowel sounds to occur individually, without stopping the airflow between words.

Deciding whether to link vowels together using /y/ or /w/ usually becomes intuitive to learners: linking with the wrong sound will feel and sound awkward.


very‿y‿old My car is very old.
so‿w‿old My car is so old.

Practice linking the following words with /y/:

1. he‿asked At least he‿asked for permission.
2. day‿after Rachel's interview is the day‿after tomorrow.
3. see‿anyone Did you see‿anyone leave through the back door?
4. really‿appreciates Mary really‿appreciates that you're staying late to help!
5. naturally‿occurring Many bacteria in the body are naturally‿occurring.
6. enjoy‿each My grandparents enjoy‿each other's company.
7. try‿again Let's take a break, then try‿again after lunch.
8. toy‿in Phoebe forgot her toy‿in the car.
9. may‿affect Nutrition may‿affect development in ways scientists haven't discovered, yet.
10. buy‿energy‿efficient They're going to buy‿energy‿efficient appliances.

Practice linking the following words with /w/:

1. know‿anyone Do you know‿anyone that can help translate this?
2. value‿of The value‿of their house fell drastically.
3. photo‿album I need to help my mom digitize her photo‿album.
4. although‿other Although‿other approaches might work, this solution is the quickest.
5. grow‿up Kids grow‿up so quickly!
6. few‿ideas Jared had quite a few‿ideas about it.
7. to‿ask Karen wanted to‿ask if you'd come along.
8. show‿up We expect Mark to show‿up around dinner time.
9. now‿on Jerry thinks he's going to (gonna) get up early from now‿on.
10. go‿over
Let's go‿over the documents tomorrow‿afternoon.

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Linking Vowels with /y/

Linking Vowels with /w/

Sound Practice

long a

short i

glide w

glide y

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