Published on 19 Mar 2015 | about 1 year ago

Have you heard how native speakers shorten their words when they speak with each other? This is called "reduction", and you may have already started using this in your own English. If so, watch out for some common mistakes when reducing words. The expressions "I havta", "I wanna", and "I'm gonna" are examples of reductions. If you have never learned about reduction, now is your chance to understand native speakers better, and to become more fluent in English yourself!
Test yourself with the quiz:


Hello. Do you have problems understanding when native English people talk to you? Yes? If your answer is yes, this lesson is for you.

Second question. Do you know how to reduce words in English so that you sound more fluent? Maybe? Maybe you're not sure. Okay. Perfect. We're going to do three things in this lesson. The very, very first thing that we're going to do is I'm going to teach you why you don't understand when native people speak to you.

Two, I'm going to teach you how to reduce words in English to make you sound more fluent or to help you sound more natural.

And three, I'm going to help you with some mistakes that you maybe will make when you are reducing these words. Some of you have already learned how to do the reductions in English. Hold on. You still have to watch this lesson because unfortunately, you're making mistakes when you do this.

So three things; one lesson. Let's hit it. Reduction mistakes. Good.

The first thing we have to know is regularly how we say these words. So for example, if we have "it", "she", "he", in English, we have "wants to". If we have "I ", "you", "we", and "they", we have "want to". What's the difference? One difference makes a world of difference because "he", "she", and "it" have the S, the way that we say this in the reduction is going to be different than if there was no S. So check this out. "I wanna; you wanna; we wanna; they wanna." Perfect. Your turn. "I wanna; you wanna; we wanna; they wanna." This is how we reduce "want to". So the reason why you don't understand native speakers is they will say to you, "Do you wanna beer?" "Giovanna? Who's -- I'm not Giovanna. This is my friend Giovanna. How do you know her name?" We don't say, "Do you want a beer"; we say, "Do you wanna beer?" It's really, really, really fast, and we never divide "want to"; we say "wanna".

If we have "it", "she", and "he", we say "wantsta". So "it wantsta; she wantsta; he wantsta". Your turn. "It wantsta." Good. "She wantsta; he wantsta." Good work. Do it again. Okay. You got it. Good.

So when you have "he/she/it", you have to say "wantsta". When you have "I/you/we/they", you have to say "wanna". Good.

This is a mistake. You cannot say "it", "she", and "he" with "wanna". I hear every day people saying, "She wanna go home." "She wanna go home? No. "She wantsta go home." So you have to be really, really careful with the S. We call this subject and verb agreement. If you have "he", "she", or "it", you have to put the S on the verb. Even when we speak quickly and we reduce things, it's really important that you have to put the S on the verb again. This rule never fails. So "it, she, or he wanna"? Mm-hmm. This is a mistake. Please be careful can your S sound.

Are you ready for another one? Are you excited? Again, we're playing with the basic subjects of "I", "you", "we", "they". Okay? The next set of verbs we have is "have to", so "I have to go." So maybe you're at a party, and maybe one of your friends who speaks English says, "I havta go." "I havta? What is 'havta'?" You think about it, and you go, "Ah. 'Have to'. You have to go." "Yeah. I havta go." We don't say "have to"; we say "havta".

If we're talking about another person, he, she, or it as a thing, again, because of our subject and verb agreement, we have to change this to "has to". So in the reduced form, we're going to say "hasta" like "pasta". So "I havta", "you havta", "we havta", "they havta". Your turn. Go. Good. "He hasta", "she hasta", "it hasta". Go. He -- she -- it -- you got it. Good.

Uh-ho. Mistake. It's the same mistake as here. You can't say "he", "she" or "I havta" because "havta" is only for "I", "you", "we", and "they". This is a really common mistake in written grammar and also in spoken. Even when it's reduced and spoken informally -- or slang if you'd like to -- we have to be very careful, when you're reducing words, that your grammar is still okay. Oh, grammar is always there to haunt you.

Okay. The last one. Very, very common, we say "I am going to". We say "I'm gonna". "I'm gonna go home." "Gonna? Who's 'gonna'? Where's 'gonna'?" We don't say, "I'm going to go home." We say, "I'm gonna. I'm gonna go." Your turn. "I'm gonna go." Good.

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