Consonant Clusters

Sometimes in certain consonant clusters (a string of two or more consonants in a word) the sounds may be reduced or dropped. Below are some of these reductions.

The sts cluster

In the consonant cluster ‘sts’, the /t/ can be dropped.

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 costs (cos:s)  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 A Porche costs way to much for me.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

masts (mas:s)  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The masts on the sailing ship were over forty feet tall.
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

tests (tes:s)  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Most students are not that fond of tests.

The sks cluster

In the consonant cluster ‘sks’ the /k/ may be dropped.

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

masks (mas:s)  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

At a costume party, masks are mandatory.
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

asks (as:s)  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A certain relative of mine often asks me for money.
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

desks (des:s)  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The desks used in classrooms are usually uncomfortable.

 

The th cluster

In the consonant cluster ‘th’, the /th/ can be changed or dropped.

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 The ‘th’ may become a /t/ as in months (munts) 
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 There are twelve months in a year.

 

The nt cluster

In the consonant cluster ‘nt’, if it is followed by a vowel sound, the /t/ sound may be dropped. A flapped ‘n’ is used in its place..

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The center of town is that way. (cen’ner)
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The renter of the house couldn’t pay the rent. (ren’ner)
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

That shirt costs twenty dollars. (twen’ny)

 

Other sound changes or reductions occur when certain words or combination of consonants are follow another. Look at these examples.

Reduction of is that/is there

In rapid speech sometimes speakers reduce ‘is there’ and ‘is that’.

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.   

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Is there becomes zere
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Is there any tea left?
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Is that become zat.
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Is that a raccoon.

Assimilation

Sometimes the sounds of words are changed by assimilation, which is linking two sounds to make a new one.

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“t + y” becomes /ch/.     Don’t you parents like music.  (don’t chur) 
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

d + Y” becomes /j/.       Could you tell me a story.  (could ja)
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“s + y” become /sh/?      Do you miss your mother.  (miss shore)  

 

Dropped Auxiliaries

       Sometimes auxiliary verbs are dropped.

Listen to these examples. The first word is with proper enunciation, the second with the reduced sounds. Then listen to the words in sentences.

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What are you becomes whatchya.   
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What are you doing?
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What do you becomes whatdaya.
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What do you do for a living?
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What did you becomes whatja.
 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What did you do yesterday?.





How to pronounce the consonant clusters in English -www.pronunciationtips.com