Do people speak too quickly for you?

Sometimes natural speaking can sound very fast, making it difficult to understand.  One reason is that words in natural speech are often linked together.  This makes the speaking sound fast because there is often no pause between words.  Linking is especially common in casual speech (eg. between friends and family).  Linked words are words that are often used in speaking such as ‘you’, ‘do’, and ‘to.’

For example, ‘going to’ often becomes ‘gonna’ and ‘do you’ often becomes ‘d’ya.’  As you can see from these examples, not only are the words shortened, but their sound often changes, too.

It’s a good idea to know common linking patterns in casual speech.  They can help improve your listening skills.  They can also help your speaking sound more natural.  Below are a few examples of word combinations that are often linked.

do youd’ya
want towanna
going togonna
have tohafta
got togotta
could youcouldja
would youwouldja

Continued below

Common greetings are also often linked such as ‘Howaya?’ (How are you?) and ‘Wassup?’ (What’s up?).  There are also many other words or short phrases that are abbreviated or shortened in casual speech. Below are a few examples.

I don’t knowdunno
Extra tip!:  Some linked and shortened language is very causal, for example, ‘ya’ (you), ‘wanna/gonna’ (want to/going to), and ‘dunno’ (I don’t know). So, this language should be avoided in more formal situations such as interviews or presentations or language tests.

Related links

Why is word stress important?

How can I change conversation topics?

How can I explain things more clearly?