Author Archives: Ovient

MyOvient launches with over 250 pages!

homepage-screenshotWe are excited to announce that our new Website for learning American English pronunciation, business English, grammar, and vocabulary is live! (Finally, after years of preparation and months of tweaking, we have finally finished it. Where's the beach? We're ready to take a vacation!)

How is this website different from the other English learning websites out there?

First of all, our content is made for people who want to improve their professional English. We create materials that cover the skills you need for your workplace. We have lessons to help you improve your negotiation and meeting vocabulary. We have videos that will teach you how to become a better presenter. We have many audio files and videos to help you improve your pronunciation.

Secondly, our site is simple and clean. We have worked very hard to make the site easy to navigate and easy to read. We have a search bar on the upper right side for easy searching, and our tabs at the top can help you get to where you need to be quickly. Our site is also free of annoying advertisements. You can relax when you're here; there are no ads on this site!

Thirdly, the site has a membership level for everyone. If you like free things (who doesn't?), you can join with a basic membership and access a lot of content for free plus have the ability to check off the lessons that you have completed. If you want access to all of our content and the ability to download audio files and worksheets, you can become a PLUS member for only $9.99 per month.

Finally, all members (free and paid) can write comments on every lesson! Do you have questions about a lesson? Ask us! Do you have a comment about a lesson? Tell us! Do you have a request for a specific topic to learn? Request it! We'd love to hear from you.

Wow, have you read all of this? That's great. We like you a lot. Now, get learning!

Negotiation Language – #20054

This lesson deals with negotiation language and structure, a structure that generally follows this order: question, suggestion, counter suggestion, agreement, and confirmation. Example negotiation phrases and questions are given for each of the steps; these provide you with wording that you can incorporate in your own negotiations. Consult the “Additional Vocabulary” section at the end of the lesson for suggested phrases to use when an agreement can't be reached, or when you wish to defuse negativity.

english pronunciation practiceNEGOTIATION STRUCTURE

Negotiations Often Follow This Common Structure

QUESTION → SUGGESTION → COUNTER SUGGESTION → AGREEMENT → CONFIRMATION

english pronunciation practiceQUESTIONS

Asking questions helps you find a starting point for negotiations.

  • What is the situation on…?
  • What sort of… are you looking for?
  • How important is...?
  • What were you thinking of in terms of …?
  • What did you have in mind regarding…?
  • What are we looking at in the way of…?
english pronunciation practiceSUGGESTIONS

Offer your suggestion to let the other side know where you stand.
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english pronunciation practiceCOUNTER SUGGESTIONS

Offer a counter suggestion if you don't like what the other side offered. Don't refuse their offer directly--show them that you are interested but you have an alternative offer.
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english pronunciation practiceAGREEMENT

Offer a counter suggestion if you don't like what the other side offered. Don't refuse their offer directly--show them that you are interested but you have an alternative offer.
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english pronunciation practiceCONFIRMATION

Offer a counter suggestion if you don't like what the other side offered. Don't refuse their offer directly--show them that you are interested but you have an alternative offer.
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english pronunciation practiceADDITIONAL VOCABULARY

If the people you are negotiating with do not agree to anything, you might want to move on to another topic for the time being.
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More Practice
Once you have practiced this page, you may also want to try these related pages:
Business Phrases – Starters, Replies, Enders
Winning Vocabulary Quiz

If you are a MyOvient PLUS or PRO member, you can ask questions or leave comments about this page. Click here to learn more about MyOvient Membership.

Listening for Unstressed Words – #20053

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below and fill in the blanks with the missing unstressed words.

PLUS and PRO Members can download this file! Click here to join.

test-icon

QUIZ



Listening for Articles Fill-in-the-Blanks Quiz – #20052

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below and fill in the blanks with the missing articles "a," "an," "the," or "x" (Write a lowercase "x" if there is no article needed.) Check your answers.

PLUS and PRO Members can download this file! Click here to join.

test-iconFILL-IN-THE-BLANK QUIZ
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Pronunciation Repetition Worksheet – #20051

This is a worksheet intended to help you practice your pronunciation. One key to changing your pronunciation and becoming more fluent in English is repetition. To use this worksheet, first write down the sound you having difficulty saying. Then, write down a word that uses that sound. Next, write a sentence with the word. To practice, read the sound 10 times slowly and use the numbers in the chart to help you count. Next, read the word 10 times slowly. Repeat the word 10 times more quickly. Finally, repeat the sentence 10 times. Try to do this on a regular basis to keep up the momentum. Pronunciation requires a lot of time to make a substantial change.

english pronunciation practiceWORKSHEET
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More Practice
Try these related pages to help you with the sounds you might be having difficulty with:
Introduction to American English Pronunciation
Individual Sounds Overview
Sound Clusters and Word Endings

If you are a MyOvient Plus member, you can ask questions or leave comments about this page. You can also download this practice worksheet. Click here to learn more about MyOvient Membership Options.

Pronunciation Study List Worksheet – #20050

This is a worksheet intended to help you keep track of sounds that you are practicing. First, write a word that you have trouble pronouncing. Then, write the IPA or other notes that will help you remember how to say it. Next, write a sentence with the word and practice reading the sentence aloud. A helpful tip: Keep it next to your computer at work so that you can easily write down new words that you have trouble saying. It is also a good reminder to practice!

english pronunciation practiceWORKSHEET

Worksheet Preview:

Word Problem Sound Tips Sentence
think th /θ/ Stick tongue out of mouth between teeth. I think he's right.

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More Practice
Try these related pages to help you with the sounds you might be having difficulty with:
Difficult Consonant Sounds
Difficult Vowel Sounds
R and L Sound Clusters
Pronouncing Word Endings

If you are a MyOvient Plus member, you can ask questions or leave comments about this page. You can also download this practice worksheet. Click here to learn more about MyOvient Plus.

Cyberventing Listening Quiz – #20048

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below and fill in the blanks with the missing words. Check your answers.

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test-icon

FILL-IN-THE-BLANK QUIZ



Writing a Complaint Email – #90074

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Often, customer service issues can be resolved in person or over the phone. However, submitting your complaint in writing can be highly effective in getting results. When writing a complaint letter or email, stick to the facts, state your request, and make it clear what your next step will be. Before writing your email, answer these questions.

  • What did you buy?
  • Why did you choose this company/product?
  • When and where did you buy it?
  • What’s wrong with it?
  • Why is this a problem for you?
  • How have you attempted to resolve the problem?
  • What were the results of your attempts?
  • What outcome would make you happy?
  • What will you do if the problem is not resolved?

Next, write a letter of complaint using all of the information above. Here is an example:

Dear Customer Service Representative:

I recently purchased a one-year subscription to your website hosting service based on positive reviews that I read about your company. However, I would like to cancel my subscription to your service because I have been unhappy with the quality of help that I have received from your technical help desk. In addition to canceling my service, I would also like you to refund my entire payment.

Thank you,

D. Wilson

Absolutely Definitely – #20001

This lesson explains the rules for using the words “absolutely” and “definitely.” It is designed to help you understand the subtle difference between how the two words are used in American English. Study their definitions and the examples of their use, and then test your understanding by taking the fill-in-the blank vocabulary quiz. Check your answers by clicking the “Check Answers” button at the bottom of the page. If you want to see the correct answers, click "Reveal Answers." To try again, click "Reset Quiz."

english pronunciation practiceDEFINITIONS

Absolutely (adverb) / Absolute (adjective)

1. Totally: You’re absolutely right. / This requires absolute secrecy.
2. None: She had absolutely no idea how the woman knew her name.
3. Agreement/Yes: Do you want to go to the movies? Absolutely!

Definitely (adverb) / Definite (adjective)

1. Without a doubt: I will definitely go to the party.
2. Clear/Confirmed: I need a definite answer.

3. Agreement/Yes: Will you be there? Definitely!

test-iconQUIZ

Finish the sentences with a form of “absolutely” or “definitely”:




More Practice
Once you have practiced this page, you may also want to try these related pages:
Emotions Vocabulary Quiz
Frustration Vocabulary Quiz

If you are a MyOvient Plus member, you can ask questions or leave comments about this page. Click here to learn more about MyOvient Membership Options.

Accent Diet Lesson 1: Pausing – #80000

video

WATCH THE VIDEO

english pronunciation practiceWHAT IS PAUSING?

Pausing is the act of stopping your speech and letting silence be part of
your sentence. Pausing is one aspect of the rhythm of English.

english pronunciation practiceWHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Pausing is a key part of the rhythm of English. Think of English as having a
heartbeat or pulse. Pausing helps keep this pulse slow and steady. Speech
that has a slow and steady pulse is clear and sounds confident.

Also, we use pauses to process new information. If someone speaks without
pausing, it is difficult to listen to and think carefully about what is being said.
Pausing within sentences gives the listener a chance to think carefully about
what the speaker is saying.

When we are speaking, pausing also allows us to highlight things we want
our listeners to remember. Think of a pause as an _underline_ around key
words.

Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 1 – #80010

english pronunciation practiceREAD

Read this paragraph out loud, using your voice. Where should you pause when you read this paragraph?

Venture capitalists are important for start-up companies that are not
large enough to raise capital in the public markets or stable enough
to qualify for direct bank loans. The investors in these companies usually have a
great deal of say in how the companies will be run. Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park,
California is seen as a symbol of private capital, just as Wall Street is a symbol
of the stock market because of the large number of venture capital companies
located there.

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below. Where did the speaker pause? Did the speaker pause in the same places you paused?

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Listen to the audio recording again. This time, practice reading along. Try to pause only when the speaker pauses.

If you have a way to record your voice, practice reading this paragraph and record yourself. Listen to yourself. Did you pause in the right places?

Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 2 – #80020

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practiceREAD

These examples show you that sometimes where you pause can change the meaning of the phrase.

Practice reading these numbers and sentences. Pause at the end of each line break.
Read each one five times.

3 + (3 x 2) = 9
three plus
three times two
equals nine

(10 – 3) x 7 = 49
ten minus three
times seven
equals forty nine

408-524-1649
four oh eight
five two four
one six four nine

“Tom,” said Cathy, “is mean.”
Tom
said Cathy
is mean. (Cathy thinks Tom is mean.)

I would like to buy a car, phone, and house.
I would like to buy
a car
phone
and house.

Do you want a soup or salad?
Do you want
a soup
or salad?

(3 + 3) x 2 = 12
three plus three
times two
equals twelve

10 – (3 x 7) = -11
ten minus
three times seven
equals negative eleven

4085-241-649
four oh eight five
two four one
six four nine

Tom said Cathy is mean.
Tom said
Cathy is mean. (Tom thinks Cathy is mean.)

I would like to by a car phone and house.
I would like to buy
a car phone
and house.

Do you want a super salad?
Do you want
a super salad?

Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 3 – #80030

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practiceREAD

The following speech has been split into thought groups. Each line represents where you should add a pause. Practice reading it while pausing at each line break (/). Pause longer between the double line breaks (//). Read it 3 times.

What is your future?/
Will you spend your life/
working for someone else?/
Or,//

are you brave enough/
to start your own business?//

Starting your own business/
requires courage,/
perseverance,/
and optimism.//

Do you have/
what it takes?//

First,/
you need courage./
Without courage,/
you will fail.//

Forget what your friends are doing/
in their high-paid jobs/
Forget that your parents told you/
to find a stable job./
To start your own business,/
you must be strong,/
you must be fearless,/
and you must be brave.//

You need courage.//

Second,/
you must have perseverance.//

When you start your business,/
you will have problems./
You will face challenges./
You will want to quit./
Don’t!//

To be successful,/
you must persevere.//

Finally,/
you must be optimistic.//

Don’t think about failure./
Instead,/
focus on success.//

When you make mistakes,/
learn from them./
When something you try doesn’t work,/
think about how you can fix it,/
then move on.//

Optimists find opportunities.//

So,/
do you have it?//

Are you courageous?//

Will you persevere?//

Can you remain optimistic/
in the face of adversity?//

Shhhh,/
don’t answer.//

Instead,/
go start your business!//

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Listen to the audio recording again. This time, practice reading along. Try to pause only when the speaker pauses.

If you have a way to record your voice, practice reading this paragraph and record yourself. Listen to yourself. Did you pause in the right places?

Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 4 – #80040

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

PLUS and PRO Members can download this file! Click here to join.

english pronunciation practiceREAD

When you introduce yourself, you should add more pauses in your speech because most of your information will be new to the listener.

Write a self-introduction. Include your name, job title, the languages you speak, where you grew up and your interests. Write it out so that each thought group is on a separate line as shown below.

My name is/
Maggie/
Lim./
I am a software engineer/
at a company in Sunnyvale./

I speak Chinese,/
Japanese,/
and English./
I grew up/
in Singapore/
and now live/
in the United States./

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Practice giving your own self-introduction using pauses to make sure new information is clear.

If you have a way to record your voice, practice your self-introduction and record yourself. Listen to yourself. Is all of the new information clear?

Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 5 – #80050

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practiceREAD

Read these sentences five times each. Pause at the end of each line break.

The Tech Museum/
in San Jose/
offers visitors/
a chance to see/
how technology works./

It is a well-known fact/
that social interaction/
is important/
for our health./

Moore’s Law says/
that the number of transistors/
that can be placed/
on an integrated circuit/
doubles every two years./

On April 30,/
1993,/
CERN announced/
that the World Wide Web/
would be free to anyone./

The meetings we had/
over the course of 2 years/
were very useful/
for the development/
of our product./

Highway billboards/
are a great way for hotels/
to get last-minute customers./

Even today,/
there are fewer women/
who work in software engineering/
than in other professions./

The largest concentration/
of wind turbines/
in the world/
is near Highway 580./

Cloud computing systems/
allow you to access your files/
from anywhere./

english pronunciation practiceADDITIONAL PRACTICE

Write your own sentences using this pattern and practice them five times each.

Listen to a speaker on TV or Online. Write down one sentence and mark the pauses that you hear.

Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 6 – #80060

This lesson will give you added practice with pausing. Begin by listening to the audio. Pay attention to where the speaker pauses in both sentences. Notice that you can pause either once or twice in the sentences. Listen to the audio again and repeat the sentences after the speaker. Next, read each sentence aloud twice. Finally, write your own sentences and add slashes where the pauses might go. Copy each sentence three times, and add different pauses to each copy. Read each sentence 2 times. For added practice, record yourself reading the sentences.

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practiceREAD

These sentences can be read with pauses in different places. Pause at each slash mark. Read each sentence 2 times.

You can join us / on Friday / if you want.
You can join us on Friday / if you want.

If you don’t back up your computer, / you may find yourself / in a terrible situation.
If you don’t back up your computer, / you may find yourself in a terrible situation.

They said the meeting / is rescheduled / for Monday.
They said the meeting / is rescheduled for Monday.
They said the meeting is rescheduled / for Monday.

Francis thought / her invention / would change the world.
Francis thought / her invention would change the world.
Francis thought her invention / would change the world.

The warning signal / is a blinking light / on the dashboard.
The warning signal / is a blinking light on the dashboard.
The warning signal is a blinking light / on the dashboard.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Write your own sentences and add slashes where the pauses might go. Copy each sentence three times, and add different pauses to each copy. Read each sentence 2 times.

More Practice
Try these related pages to help you practice pausing:
Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 7
Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 1

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Accent Diet: Pausing Lesson 1 Practice 7 – #80070

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practiceREAD

Read this paragraph 3 times. Pause quickly at the single slash marks and pause
longer at the double slash marks.

Silicon Valley / is in the southern part / of the San Francisco Bay Area /
in Northern California. // The term originally referred / to the region’s large number /
of silicon chip innovators / and manufacturers, // but eventually came to refer / to all
the high-tech businesses / in the area. // Despite the development / of other hightech
economic centers / throughout the United States, // Silicon Valley continues to
be / the leading high-tech center / because of its large number of engineers / and
venture capitalists. //

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Write a paragraph about your hometown or the town you live in now. Add single and double slash marks to represent pauses. Read the paragraph three times.

Speaking Practice: Tell someone about your hometown (or look in the mirror and tell yourself). As you speak practice pausing!

Accent Diet Lesson 2: Stretching – #80075

video

WATCH THE VIDEO

english pronunciation practiceWHAT IS STRETCHING?

Stretching is the act of lengthening the sound of word endings. Stretching is
one aspect of the rhythm of English.

english pronunciation practiceWHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Stretching is important because it enables your listener to understand your
words clearly. Word endings are very important in English, and if you do not
spend enough time on the ending of a word, your listeners will have trouble
understanding your words.

Accent Diet: Stretching Lesson 2 Practice 1 – #80080

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below. Practice stretching the phrases with the audio recording.

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read each phrase three times. Stretch the final vowel sound at the end of each
phrase.

in the next da—y
will launch in a wee—k
what vendors can do for you—
it’s oka—y
give it to the tea—m
they’ve taken contro—l
what they talk abou—t
in the da—rk
still haven’t fou—nd

get ready to se—ll
president of the fi—rm
the cost of energy—
give it to me—
register today—
a number of topi—cs
need to leverage the we—b
get what you wa—nt
solutions are neede—d

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

When a word ends in a “vowel + consonant + e," stretch the vowel before the consonant. The final “e” is silent.

have to gi—ve
to be do—ne

software as a servi—ce
give us a quo—te

Accent Diet: Stretching Lesson 2 Practice 2 – #80090

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

This paragraph has slashes (/) that represent the pauses and dashes (—) that represent where you should stretch the sounds. Stretch the end of each word that has a dash after it. Add a pause after each stretch. Remember to exaggerate your stretching. Read this paragraph three times.
 

Silicon Valley— / is in the southern pa—rt/ of the San Francisco Bay Area—/ in Northern California—/. The term originally refe—rred/ to the region's large numbe—r/ of silicon chip innovato—rs/ and manufacture—rs/, but eventually came to refe—r/ to all the high-tech businesse—s/ in the area—/. Despite the developme—nt/ of other high-tech economic cente—rs/ throughout the United Sta—tes/, Silicon Valley—/ continues to be—/ the leading high-tech cente—r/ because of its large numbe—r/ of enginee—rs/ and venture capitali—sts/.

Accent Diet: Stretching Lesson 2 Practice 3 – #80100

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

The following paragraph has many words ending in “s.” This is a sound
that many nonnative speakers fail to pronounce clearly. After you stretch the
final vowel in each thought group, remember to also add the final “s” sounds at
the ends of the phrases.

 

Read the paragraph three times. Remember to exaggerate your stretching.

When vacatione—rs
snap photo—s
for their scrapboo—ks,
they don’t usually worry about lense—s,
flashe—s,
or even the people’s pose—s.
They just “point and cli—ck.”
This sty—le
produces photo—s
that are grea—t
for uploadi—ng
to social networking si—tes,
but without tripo—ds,
special lense—s
and an eye for bala—nce,
these photo—s
will definitely not become screen save—rs.
Your family’s pose—s
in Times Squa—re
probably look just li—ke
your friends’ photo—s.
Professional photographe—rs
always look for sce—nes
and pose—s
that are uni—que.
When professiona—ls
shoot a photo—,
they pay attentio—n
to the li—ght,
bala—nce,
and messa—ge
that the image gi—ves.
With advances in camera—s,
everyday photographe—rs
can improve their image—s,
but technology alo—ne
will not turn the hobbyi—sts
into professiona—ls.
To make that ju—mp,
amateu—rs
need lesso—ns,
not better camera—s.

Accent Diet: Stretching Lesson 2 Practice 4 – #80110

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read each word and stretch the final vowel sound. Record yourself and
listen to your recording. Can you clearly hear the stretching? If not, practice
and record yourself again.

resea—rch
go—
sou—rce
ca—n
fu—nds
wi—th
pla—ns
openi—ng
go—es
fo—r
pla—ce
tea—m

Read each sentence and stretch the final vowel sound.

We got the fu—nd
Where she we—nt
What do you crea—te?
What’s the plan of atta—ck?
I’ll be ba—ck
I just reali—zed.
Learn the basi—cs.
Take i—t.
Just a—sk.
It was the best advertiseme—nt
They built an a—pp.
It's in the ba—g.

Accent Diet: Stretching Lesson 2 Practice 5 – #80120

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

PLUS and PRO Members can download this file! Click here to join.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Look at these self-introductions and mark the thought groups with a
slash (/). Read each introduction twice. Practice pausing and stretching the
ends of each thought group.

 

My name is Keiko Tanaka. I am a marketing specialist at Go-Go Social. I'm a
Bay Area native, but I did live in London for 10 years after college. I enjoy
cycling and reading about science.
 

My name is Maggie Lim. I am a software engineer at a company in Sunnyvale. I
speak Chinese, Japanese, and English. I grew up in Singapore, but now I live in
Palo Alto. I don't have any hobbies because I seem to be always working.
 

My name is Mike Stewart. I am a restaurant blogger. I grew up in Iowa and now
live in San Francisco. As you can imagine, I love food. I love eating it,
cooking it, and talking about it.

Accent Diet: Stretching Lesson 2 Practice 6 – #80130

english pronunciation practiceQUIZ

Read this story aloud and focus on stretching the sounds at the end of each thought group. Since there are no dashes (—), you will have to decide which sounds to stretch on your own. Many of these words end in d, so remember to stretch the sound before the d. (Some of these thought groups are longer than the thought groups in your previous practice.) Remember to exaggerate your stretching.
 

Enid was an engineer
noted for her research
in computer network security systems.
Although she often analyzed
complicated attacks on computers,
the security system for her house
baffled her.
When she first installed
her own alarm system,
she avoided turning it on
because it beeped
at regular intervals
and bothered her.
She believed
that a system wasn’t needed
for her house.
She felt that her neighborhood
was safe.
But after hearing that a thief
had climbed through a neighbor’s back window
and robbed him of $500,
she finally asked a technician
for help.
An alarm system rep
visited her house
and realized that Enid had bought
such a complicated system
that it was nearly impossible
to use every day.
He changed some settings
and customized her system
so that it could be controlled
from her computer.
She cheered at that news
because she felt more comfortable
using her computer
than the control box
that had been installed
in her home.
After the tech fixed it,
she thanked him
and offered to give him
a free security upgrade
for his computer.
He declined
because he claimed
he didn’t need computer security.
She was astonished
but understood.
She used to think that same thing about her home security!
english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Compare your reading with the audio below.

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Accent Diet Lesson 3: Connecting – #80135

video

WATCH THE VIDEO

english pronunciation practiceWHAT IS CONNECTING?

Connecting is when you hold the sound at the end of one word and attach it
to the beginning of the next word. It is also known as blending or linking.

english pronunciation practiceWHY IS CONNECTING IMPORTANT?

Native speakers do not read every word in isolation. Instead, they connect
words together to make a smooth sound, like a wave.

Incorrect: Native speakers don’t read every word in isolation.

Correct: Nativespeakers don’treadeveryword inisolation.

Accent Diet: Connecting Lesson 3 Practice 1 – #80140

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

Listen to the audio recording below.

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read the following phrases and connect all the underlined sounds. Read each one three times.

trust is earned
try out
help desk
research and development

big game
look old
knew of him
save energy
last year
tow away
end to end
not yet
lay over
competitive environment
demand growth
unique approach
new infrastructure
sit down
english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read the following sentences and try to connect all of the word endings to the beginning of the next word. (Tip: Keep your voice strong as you move from one word to the next.) Read each one three times.
 

The company had to change the way it did business.
The company opted to deploy a new infrastructure.
Because customers don’t have to pay an annual fee, membership is way up.
Although he knew it was illegal, he occasionally parked in a tow away zone.
They had a powwow to see if they could finally agree on a new advisor.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Finish these sentences and connect the sounds as you speak. Repeat each sentence three times.

We had to...
Itës important that we...
They wanted us to... 
Is there any way that you could...
Would it be possible to...
The problem...
He said that...
Please...
I think...
I don't think...

Accent Diet: Connecting Lesson 3 Practice 3 – #80150

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read these sentences. Pauses have been added. Practice connecting the words between each pause.
 

Last year,        we went to Niagara Falls        on our summer vacation.
This unique approach        is one        that we’ve never seen.
If you park your car        in a tow away zone        you’re sure to get a ticket.
Sometimes,        calling the help desk        isn’t helpful at all.
It’s not healthy        to sit at your desk        all day.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read the following speech twice. Practice connecting the words in each thought group.

What is your future?/
Will you spend your life/
working for someone else?/
Or,//

are you brave enough/
to start your own business?//

Starting your own business/
requires courage,/
perseverance,/
and optimism.//

Do you have/
what it takes?//

First,/ you need courage./
Without courage, / you will fail.//

Forget what your friends are doing/
in their high-paid jobs/
Forget that your parents told you/
to find a stable job./
To start your own business,/
you must be strong,/
you must be fearless,/
and you must be brave.//

You need courage.//

Second,/
you must have perseverance.//

When you start your business,/
you will have problems./
You will face challenges./
You will want to quit./
Don’t!//

To be successful,/
you must persevere.//

Finally,/
you must be optimistic.//

Don’t think about failure./
Instead,/
focus on success.//
When you make mistakes,/
learn from them./
When something you try doesn’t work,/
think about how you can fix it,/
then move on.//

Optimists find opportunities.//

So,/
do you have it?//

Are you courageous?//

Will you persevere?//

Can you remain optimistic/ in the face of adversity?//

Shhhh,/
don’t answer.//

Instead,/
go start your business!//

Accent Diet: Connecting Lesson 3 Practice 4 – #80160

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Review the pausing rules you studied in Lesson 1. Add connections to the words between the pauses (within the thought groups). Practice each sentence three times.

You can join us   /   on Friday   /   if you want.
You can join us on Friday   /   if you want.

If you don’t back up your computer,   /   you may find yourself   /  
in a terrible situation.
If you don’t back up your computer,   /   you may find yourself
in a t
errible situation.

They said the meeting   /   is rescheduled   /   for Monday.
They said the meeting   /   is rescheduled for Monday.
They said the meeting is rescheduled   /   for Monday.

Francis thought   /   her invention   /   would change the world.
Francis thought   /   her invention would change the world.
Francis thought her invention   /   would change the world.

The warning signal   /   is a blinking light   /   on the dashboard.
The warning signal   /   is a blinking light on the dashboard.
The warning signal is a blinking light   /   on the dashboard.

Accent Diet: Connecting Lesson 3 Practice 5 – #80170

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Read the following sentences and practice stretching the sounds before the dashes (—). At the same time, connect the sounds that are underlined. Read each sentence three times.

Silicon Valley— / is in the southern pa—rt/ of the San Francisco Bay Area—/ in Northern California—/.

The term originally refe—rred/ to the region’s large numbe—r/ of silicon chip innovato—rs/ and manufacture—rs/, but eventually came to refe—r/ to all the high-tech businesse—s/ in the area—/.

Despite the developme—nt/ of other high-tech economic cente—rs/ throughout the United Sta—tes/, Silicon Valley—/ continues to be—/ the leading high-tech cente—r/ because of its large numbe—r/ of enginee—rs/ and venture capitali—sts/.

english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

The sentences have been copied below without the visual clues for stretching and connecting. Try to add stretching and connecting naturally. Record yourself and listen to the recording. Can you clearly hear the rhythm of English in your voice?

Silicon Valley is in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. The term originally referred to the region’s large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually came to refer to all the high-tech businesses in the area. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading high-tech center because of its large number of engineers and venture capitalists.

When you add stretching and connecting to your speech, your speech should feel smooth. Your voice should flow gently like a wave. It should feel like you are lengthening your voice, and you should sound very calm when you are speaking.

Accent Diet: Connecting Lesson 3 Practice 6 – #80180

english pronunciation practiceQUIZ

Read the speech below from Lesson 2. As you read it, make sure you stretch the vowels at the end of each thought group. At the same time, practice connecting the words inside the thought groups. Read it two times.
 

When vacationers snap photos for their scrapbooks, they don’t usually worry about lenses, flashes, or even the people’s poses. They just “point and click.” This style produces photos that are great for uploading to social networking sites, but without tripods, special lenses and an eye for balance, these photos will definitely not become screen savers. Your family’s poses in Times Square probably look just like your friends’ photos. Professional photographers always look for scenes and poses that are unique. When professionals shoot a photo, they pay attention to the light, balance, and message that the image gives. With advances in cameras, everyday photographers can improve their images, but technology alone will not turn the hobbyists into professionals. To make that jump, amateurs need lessons, not better cameras.

english pronunciation practiceLISTEN

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