How to understand native English speakers... and speak like them!


Hi. James from engVid.

Do you ever notice how you don't always understand what English people are saying?

It's like the words are kind of together?

Well, I'm going to tell you a secret: You're right.

It's called relaxed sple...


Speech, or blended speech.

See, I put spleech together?

And it just makes sense.

And I'm going to get to that in a second, and I'm going to give you a visual so you

can understand where we're going.

Notice E is relaxed, he's not really trying hard.

When you're speaking your natural language you don't want to try hard all the time.


So I actually use another one: "wanna", which I'm not going to talk about today.

But we're going to get there.


We're going to get to the board and take a look at what I want to teach you.

It's how to sound like a native speaker, but also how to understand a native speaker.


Because we do this blending or relaxed speech quite regularly.

All right?

So it's actually almost more normal...

A more normal part of our language.

So what is relaxed speech?

Well, relaxed speech happens when a native speaker...

Speakers-sorry-change sounds or drop letters or syllables when they are speaking fast for

things they say a lot.

I'll give you an example.

Nobody wants to say: "Do you want to go to the movie tonight?"

So we say: "Do you wanna go to the movie?"

For you, you're like: "What happened?"

Well, we dropped the "t"-okay?-and we combined "want" and "to".

We even change the "o" to an "a" to make it easier, so: "You wanna go?"

For you, you're thinking: "Youwannago", that's a new English word: "youwannago".

And it's like: No, it's not.

It's "wanna" as in "want to go".

Another one is: "See ya".

In "see ya" we change and we drop the ending here, we put: "See", and "you" becomes "ya":

"See ya later".

No one says: "See you later."

It sounds weird when I even say it to myself.

"See you later.


But: "See ya later" rolls off the mouth.

It's because both of these things we say at least 10, 20, 30 times a day, so we change

it, we make it relaxed to make it comfortable like E. Okay?

Problem for you is you go to school or you're reading a book and it says: "Do you want to",

"Did you ever", no one speaks like that but you, so today we're going to change that.


So I'm going to teach you, as I said, how to understand it when it's said to you, but

also how to get it out.

Warning: Please use the books first or, you know, listen to...

We have other videos on pronunciation, use those first.

You have to master the base sounds first.

You have to be able to say: "Do you want to", because what you don't understand is when

I say: "Do you want", when I change it to: "Do you wanna", I almost say that "t", so

I have to have practice saying the proper sound before I can drop it.

Got it?

It's like you got to practice a lot before you can play well.


So, once you've got that down and you start using this, people will go: "Hey, man, where

are you from?

Because I hear some accent but I really can't tell.

Do you want to tell me?"

And I say...

I did it again.

"Do you want to tell me?"

You're like: "Woo, no.

It's my secret, engVid."

Okay, anyway, so today what I want to work on specifically is "do" and "did".


Because there are a few things we say, and there are what I call sound patterns for the

relaxed speech that you can learn to identify what people are saying to you.


So I'm going to come over here and I want you to take a look.

"Do" or "Did", and here's the relaxed version of it.

When we're done this we're going to have a little practice session because with pronunciation

it's important you actually practice it, not you take the lesson, you go: "Thanks, James,

you taught me and now I know."

You actually have to go through it.

So the first one we want to do is this one: "Do you want to", easy enough.


"Do you want to go to dinner?

Do you want to have a friend over?

Do you want to have pizza?"

When we actually say it, what happens is there are two cases here.

In the first case: "do" or "d" changes to a "ja", "ja" sound.

And it comes: "Jawanna", so this is gone, the "d" is gone, we changed it to a "j".

And remember what we talked about with "wanna"?

The t's gone so it becomes: "Jawanna".

Now, sometimes we go a step even further, we're so lazy we don't even say the "ja",

we just say: "Yawanna", and we go to this: "Yawanna do something?

Yawanna go to the movies?"

Instead of: "Jawanna go to the movies?"

So, "wanna" is an important part, but listen for "ja" or "ya", "ya", "ja" or "ya", same

meaning though.

"Jawanna go to the movies?

Yawanna go to the movies?"

Blended speech.


All right, that's the first one.

Next one, have you ever seen this lesson before?

"I don't know.

I dunno."

I'm not Jamaican, in case you're going: "It's Jamaican" or another language group.

"Don't know" becomes "Dunno".

"t" is dropped.

Now, before you guys go: "And you dropped the 'k'!

You dropped the 'k'".

I don't drop the "k".

The "k", as you can see here, is not voiced.

We never say: "k-now", "Do you k-now what I'm talking about?"

It's silent.

So when I'm writing it I'm just showing it here that it sounds...

"Know" and "no" sound the exact same.

They drop the "t", push it together and it's: "I dunno."

So: -"Do you know where John is?"

-"I dunno."

-"Is Mr. E drinking again?"

-"I dunno."


So: "dunno".

So, "dunno" is actually a word or two words.


And you can see here: "Do not know" becomes: "Don't know" to "Dunno".

"Did you eat yet?"

Why did you write that one?

If you're not from planet Earth, understand, you're correct.

Why would I write that?

If you're from planet Earth, everybody's mother asks you at least once a day: "Did you eat


Did you eat yet?

Have you eaten yet?

Did you eat yet?"

All right?

Well, half the time because it's three meals a day minimum that we have, and maybe you're

standing with your friend, he's going to go: "J'eat yet?

J'eat yet?"


What is "j'eat"?

It's like a type of food?



Remember up here I told you how the "j", the "d" changes to a "j", notice that there's

a pattern here: "d" changes to a "j".


Someone says: "Hey.

Hey, man.

J'eat yet?

J'eat yet?"

Sometimes it's even "jet".

I had a hard time.

Okay, look, I got to be honest, sometimes when you're doing a lesson you learn stuff

that you didn't know that you said.

"J'eat yet?"

It's like: "What?

That sounds crazy."

But people say it really fast: "D'eat yet?"

When you say: "J'eat yet?


I can't even say it.


Sometimes it sounds like a "j" sound.

It'll sound like a "j" sound to you.


"J'eat yet", "jet".

"J'eat yet" is more common.

Sometimes it sounds like that, but I'm not even going to do it.

I'm embarrassing myself, okay?

And I speak quickly.


But every once in a while that will come out instead of even "yet", it just gets blended

so much it disappears.


The next one we have is: "Did you have", all right?

So then you got: "j'ev".

All right?

And sometimes...

Okay, before I forget, this is an odd one because I tried to do present and past, but

this one can be sometimes both: "Do you have" and "Did you have".

I'll give you an example.

"Did you have a good time at the party last night?

Did you have a good time?"


"J'ev", "j'ev".

Remember the "d" changes to a "j", and the "have" just becomes "ev".

All right?

So that "have" just disappears and becomes the "v" sound.

So: "Did ya have?", "e" replaces that, saying: "J'ev a good time last night?"

That's: "Did you have a good time?"

But be careful with this one because it also might be present tense, so context is very


For instance: "J'ev a dollar I can have?"

I'm serious.

I want a dollar.

You can send it to engVid, James ESL.

Can you do that?

"J'ev a dollar you can send me?"


Notice that it's present tense.

"Do you have?"

All right?

So this one can be both past or present.

Listen carefully to what they said.

Example again: "J'ev a good time at the party last night?"

That is past tense.

"J'ev a dollar?"

Present tense.


And I'm serious about the money, you can send it to me at engVid.


Anyway, moving on.

Next one: "Did you ever", this is one of those games, what we play when we were little kids,

like: "Did you ever have a teddy bear?

Did you ever go to the restaurant in Nepal?

Did you ever...?"

And it becomes: "J'ever".

I'll give you an example if you think crazy.

"J'ever call that guy I told you about?

J'ever call that guy I told you about?"

Now, sometimes it'll be: "didja", "didja".

"Didja ever call that guy? Didja ever call that guy?"

That's one version, and another version is: "J'ever".

"J'ever think about that time we went to the mall at Christmas?", "J'ever", "Did you ever".


So: "J'ever".

So: "J'ever read a book on Moby Dick?

Did you ever?"


All right, so we've got: "Do you want to", "Don't know", "Did you eat yet"-common, trust

me-"Did you have", and: "Did you ever".


And remember this is the one you have to be careful on for context.

"Did you have" or "Do you have" can sound the same, can be used as context.

Listen to time marks, like: "last night", "yesterday", "a week ago".


So: Did you have any time last week to read my proposal?


Did you have any time to read my proposal from last week?

Past tense.

J'ev any time right now?

Right now is now, not past.


So context is important.


All right, so I've gone over these ones and I hope your head's not spinning too much.


Just given you one, two, three, four, five common things you may hear with that kind

of sound pattern.

It's called relaxed speech, but I like to think of it as a sound pattern.

If you learn the pattern it's easy to recognize when people use it, it's also easier for you

to say.

Now, if you think you're good at that, I hope you are because we're going to do a little,

quick drill.

You ready?

Because practice makes...



Hey, you're back, good.

Let's go to the board.

We have a little practice to do, and this way...

Before I get there, let's just go over the notes I have here.


It's to help you understand why we're doing this.


Or how to get better at it.

A good way to learn relaxed speech is to watch shows or movies with subtitles.

Now, you have to understand something, I've done many videos where I tell people don't

watch with subtitles, it's not the best way to learn to listen.

I'm not going against that.

This isn't listening, this is speaking and this is different.

What I want you to start noticing...

Or here we go: Notice a difference between what is said and what is written, and that's


You'll see it.

You'll see seven words on the screen, but the guy said 10, you're like: "I don't get

it", and that's because we have that relaxed speech going on.


So someone has actually said something, and then they cut it off to say this or they've

changed it.


So that's why we want to do it.

And then I said here: Also watch and practice your own relaxed speech.

So, what do I mean?

You're going to watch the actors speaking, you're going to see the subtitles, notice

the difference, look for the sound pattern that's repeated or that you can grasp.

All right?

In this case I'm teaching you "do" and "did", okay, so you're going to be working on that.

Practice your own.

So when you hear the actor doing it, try to catch him and say, like: "Didja", "didja",

"j'ev", "j'ev", "j'ev a good time?"


Try and do that.


You'll notice that after time you'll naturally come out.

And I can promise you because I've done this a lot, I've had students who are...

Who try the relaxed speech and when they say it they almost have zero accent because the

relaxed speech causes you to condense the language, you don't have time to have accent.

So it's a cool tip.

It'll help one...

Two things.

Number one, your understanding when native speakers speak; number two, your ability to

speak to native speakers like them.

And that will cause them to want to speak to you more, and that's the whole point of



So, we talked about that, so let's do the practice because perfect practice doesn't

happen without the practice.

Okay, so here's the story.

You'll notice there's a space, but the answers are here because I want you to say it.

I'm not going to write it for you, I want you to say it.

So we can go through it first regular speech.

-"Hey E, do you want to go to the movies?"

-"I don't know.

What's playing?"

-"An action flick".

"Flick" means movie, okay?

So when someone says it's a chick flick, action flick...

No one says drama flick for some reason, I don't know why, maybe because they're so damn




And they don't say comedy flick either.

They say it's a comedy.


Drama and comedy.

So an action flick, so an action movie.


"I think".

And then he said: -"Did you eat yet?

I'm starving!"

-"No, let's get some burgers."

-"Did you ever go to the new place on Yonge Street?"

-"Yes, it's great.

Did you have the double burger there?"

That's normal speech.

Nobody talks like that, so if you talk like that we'll know you watched the video and

you missed the whole point of the video.

Let's go to what you should say, so we're going to place the: "Did you want to" with

these ones.


So, let's do the first one.

-"Hey E, jawanna go to the movies?

Jawanna go to the movies?"

Or, because we have the second one here: "Hey E, yawanna go to the movies?"

See how it rolls a little bit better, a little faster?


Because we say this regularly.

Now, E's response: "I dunno.

I dunno."


-"I dunno.

What's playing?"

-"An action flick, I think."

Okay, and now we go: "Did you"...

Okay, I didn't put everything here because I didn't...

It's just short, but: "Didja eat yet?


So we got the "didja" here, we're doing that one.

-"Didja eat yet?

I'm starving!"

Or the second one can say is: "J'eat yet?

J'eat yet?

I'm starving."

You can say either one.

See that?

So careful, listen sometimes: "Didja" or the "J'eat yet".


Same response here, so then we go down here: "No, let's get some burgers."

Then we have here, remember we said this one, now we're going to say this one: "Didja ever",


"Didja ever go to the new place on Yonge Street?

Didja ever go to the new place?"

Or more commonly: "J'ever go to the new place?

J'ever go to the new place on Yonge Street?"


So I'm getting rid...

So we're going from here, I'm giving you a second stage to practice, and then purely

relaxed speech.


And finally: "Yes, it's great.

J'ev", see?

There's "j'ev", "do you have".

"J'ev a double burger there?

J'ev the double burger?"


Now, to end this out...

I got no more room on the board.

I'm going to say they said, imaginary: "Yeah, let's go and have a burger."


And why am I saying that?

Because that's the end of the story and this is the end of the lesson.


So we practiced, and I want you to practice "jawanna", "yawanna", "dunno", "didja".

And that's a starting step, remember we have steps.

You can go from: "Did you eat yet?" to: "Didja eat?"


And then finally: "J'eat yet?

J'eat yet?"

And the same one we have down here as well, you can go to an intermediary or middle step:

"Didja ever?"

And then to: "J'ever".


And finally: "J'ev".

"J'ev a good time?"

All right?

And remember we can do that for "do" or "did".


Anyway, that's my story, I hope you enjoyed it.

I'm kinda hungry.

Those burgers are making me hungry.

And my plane is about to arrive to take me out here to Fantasy Island and I'll have a

fantasy burger.

E's already gone.

So, please subscribe.

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And always, thank you for visiting.

Don't forget to visit the other teachers on the site, they're equally good.


And is that it?

I think that's almost it except for one small thing: If this video has been helpful to you,

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something out of it - invite a friend, share with a friend. Okay?

Sharing is caring.

Anyway, that's my story. You have a good one.