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Unit 34. I'll Ask Her (Alaska).

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Pronouns and Contractions

Unit 34; Part A

Pronouns in sentences are usually unstressed. Look at this sentence: I met him. The first and third words arc pronouns. So this sentence has the stress pattern oOo.
 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
Listen to these sentences. You will hear each one twice: first in careful speech and then in fast speech.
Notice that in fast speech:

  • the speaker doesn't pronounce the letter H in he, her, him, his unless it is at the beginning of the sentence. 
  • the vowel sound in the pronouns and his, her, their, our is very short.

oOo
I met him.
You know her.
They saw you.
She phoned me.
He likes them.
We found it.

oOoO
I met his wife.
They read my book.
He knows their son.
We called their friends.
She hates her job.
You eed our help.
 
 
note.jpgNote: You don't need to copy the fast speech pronunciation. People will understand you if you use careful speech. But you need to be able to understand fast speech.

Unit 34; Part B

Pronouns are often joined to auxiliary verbs (is, have, will, etc.) in contractions. For example, when we speak, we join the I and will together to form I'll. In the sentence I'll ask her there are four words but only three syllables. This is because the pronoun and contraction are pronounced as one syllable. This sentence therefore has the stress pattern oOo (the pronouns and contractions I'll and her are unstressed). In fast speech, it may be pronounced the same as Alaska. Listen to these examples.
oOo
I'll ask her.
I'm coming.
He's finished.
They're hungry.
We've seen him.        
She's angry.


/æ'læsk∂/
/æm'kΛmιη/
/hιz'finι∫t/
/ðe'hΛηgrι/
/wιv'sι:nιm/         
/∫ι'zæηgrι/

(like Alaska)
(like am coming)
(like his finished)
(like the hungry)
(like wivseen im)
(like shiz angry)

note.jpgNote: You do not join the pronoun to an auxiliary verb at the end of a sentence. For example, say Yes, I will, don't say Yes, I'll.
Note:
You only put stress on pronouns if you want to emphasise or contrast something. It is like underlining with your voice. For example: You don't need him, but he needs you! (See Unit 49.)

 



Exercises

flag.jpgAdd pronouns to these words to make sentences with the pattern oOoO. Do not use the same pronoun twice. Then say your sentences aloud, making the rhythm clear.
Key.1 He read the book. / I read my book.
2 We sang a song. / You sang that song.
3 They drank some milk. / It drank the milk.
4 We ate our lunch. / She ate some lunch.

Example:   drove/car      She drove her car.       
1    read / book                       .    
2    sang / song
3    drank / milk            
4    ate / lunch 

 

flag.jpgListen and write the words you hear in the gaps.
Key.1 Can you give it to them please?
2 Did you meet their daughter, Catherine?
3 I don't think he likes her.
4 What did she say to them?
5 Where did she buy her guitar?
6 What's his mother's name?
7 Where arе your parents from?
8 We bought presents for our children.

Example:   
      Can you tell     her    to call    me   please?
1    Can you give _______ to _______ please?
2    Did _______ meet _______ daughter, Catherine?
3    I don't think _______ likes _______.
4    What did _______ say to _______?
5    Where did _______ buy _______ guitar?
6    What's _______ mother's name?
7    Where are _______ parents from?
8    _______ bought presents for _______ children.
flag.jpgWrite the sentences below again. Change the people to pronouns, and make the auxiliary verbs (has / is / are etc.) into contractions. Then underline the stressed syllables in your sentences. There should be two in each sentence. Then listen, check and repeat.
Key.1. He's buying presents for them.
2. They're opening their presents.
3. They'll thank him for the presents.
4. He'll thank her for the money.

Example:    Helen has given Robert some money.    She's given him some money.  
1    Robert is buying presents for the children.  ____________________________
2    Bonnie and Max are opening their presents.  ____________________________
3    Bonnie and Max will thank Robert for the presents.  ____________________________
4    Robert will thank Helen for the money.  ____________________________

dialogue.jpgThink of a computer which people speak into and it writes what they say. This computer wrote the underlined parts of these conversations incorrectly. (You can read what the computer heard in phonemic letters.) Write the correct words.
Key.1 We've done it
2 I'll ask him
3 I'll see you
4 He's gone to
5 I'll tell her

Example:
     - Do you know Mike?
     - Yes. Ametim /æ'metιm/ yesterday.    I met him.   
1   - Come on kids, do your homework!
     - Wivdunit /wιv'dΛnιt/already!  _____________ 
2   - What's his name?
     - I don't know. Alaskim /æ'læskιm/.  _____________  
3   - Goodbye.
     - Goodbye. Alseeya /æl'si:j∂/ tomorrow!  _____________    
4   - Why isn't Neil here?
     - Hisgonra /hιz'gont∂/ Paris for the weekend. _____________ 
5   - Have you told Maria yet?
     - No. Altella /æl'tel∂/ tomorrow.  _____________ 
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