Sound Changes

 

Sound Changes with Consonants

The sounds of some words change, depending on the combination of letters used to form the word. This page examines the difference in pronunciation of can and can’t.

Can and Can’t

In an affirmative ‘can’, the can is pronounced as ‘kn’. The modal verb ‘can’ in the sentence is unstressed; the main verb is stressed.

Listen to these sound changes. The first phrase is with proper enunciation, the second phrase is with the sound changes. Then the word is used in a sentence.

 

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 We can swim becomes we kn swim        We can swim in the lake.
 

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 I can cook becomes I kn cook.                  I can cook pizza.
 

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She can read becomes she kn read.       She can read Italian and Russian.
 

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 They can ride becomes they kn ride        They can ride on the roller coaster.

In the negative, both the modal (can’t) and the main verb are stressed. However the ‘t’ in can’t is dropped and replaced with a glottal stop if the next sound is a consonant.

Listen to these sound changes. The first sentence is with can, the second with can’t. Note that both the modal and main verbs are stressed in the negative sentence.

 

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We can’t go becomes 
We KAN GO.
We can go to the movies.
We can’t go to the movies.
 

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Larry can’t speak becomes 
   Larry KAN SPEAK.
Larry can speak French.
Larry can’t speak French.
 

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She can’t do it becomes
She KAN Do it.
She can do it.
She can’t do it.
 

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People can’t sing   becomes 
people KAN SING.
Some people can sing.
Some people can’t sing.

 

If the next sound after ‘can’t’ is a vowel, a flap occurs as in ‘She can’t  ignore it’. (… can’t  tig-nore…)

Listen to these sound changes. The first phrase is with proper enunciation, the second phrase is with the sound changes. Then the word is used in a sentence.

 

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can’t attend becomes                          We can’t attend the concert. (cand da tend)          
 

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can’t invite becomes                            Larry can’t invite to the party. (cand din vite)          
 

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can’t answer becomes                        He can’t answer the question. (cand dan swer)          
 

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can’t understand becomes                 I can’t understand what you are saying. (cand dun der stand)          

 

 Common Phrases

Sound chances occur with several common phrases. Examples are with “what are you” and
“what do you”. The resulting linked words become “whaddaya“. 

 Listen to these sound changes. The first phrase is with proper enunciation, the second phrase is with the sound  changes.

 

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what are you’ and ‘what do you’ becomes            whaddaya
 

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What are you doing? becomes                             Whaddaya doing?
 

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What are you drinking? becomes                         Whaddaya drinking?
 

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What do you say? becomes                                  Whaddaya say?
 

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What do you want? becomes                                Whaddaya want?



 

Sound changes with consonants and common phrases – www.pronunciationtips.com