Helping Learners Understand Spoken English

Spoken English Reduction Guide

Start Understanding Native Speakers

Why is spoken English so difficult to understand?

Can you understand your English teacher but not understand most native speakers?

Teachers usually speak more slowly and clearly to help you understand what they are saying.

However, when speaking naturally, native speakers blend and reduce words when they speak. This makes understanding difficult.

Spoken English and written English are really different. To learn about the many differences, check out my YouTube channel, where I talk about these differences and give you examples to help you understand spoken English.

The Spoken English Reduction Guide will help you understand English as it is spoken by native speakers.

Spoken English Reduction Guide

The guide contains 28 reductions with 30 example sentences. The guide is completely free. There is also an audio file available for purchase that you can use along with the guide.

The free PDF guide contains 28 common speech reductions written as they sound when spoken. The PDF also includes 30 example sentences.

The sentences below have been written in their full forms with no reductions. Refer to the PDF to see the reduced forms.

Except for contractions (I’ll, don’t, etc.), we do not usually write words the way they are spoken. Seeing the written reductions in the PDF guide will show you what you are hearing.

Spoken English reductions follow patterns. By learning these patterns, you can improve your ability to understand native speakers.

How to Use the Guide

  1. Try to listen to the audio at least once without looking at the guide or the sentences below. How much can you understand?
  2. Read the sentences below as you listen again.
  3. Open the guide to see the reductions and listen again. Listen as many times as necessary to hear, understand, and become familiar with the sounds and patterns of natural spoken English.
  4. Improve your spoken English by saying the sentences with the reduced forms. Can you match your speech to the audio?

Note: The words in blue within the guide link to videos.


Spoken English Reduction Guide

Downloadable audio available at my Ko-fi shop

One of the reasons it is difficult to understand native speakers is because they often blend words together when they speak. By learning how they do this, you can improve your understanding of spoken English.

You will hear the following sentences in the audio file.

  1. What are you going to do this weekend?
  2. What do you want to do this summer?
  3. When do you have to be at the airport?
  4. She has to work. 
  5. I am kind of tired. 
  6. I feel sort of sick. 
  7. I have a lot of work. 
  8. I ate lots of chicken last night. 
  9. We have got to get ready to go.
  10. I have got to eat.
  11. Did you eat lunch?
  12. Which one do you want?
  13. I should have studied harder.
  14. Would you like to join us?
  15. I want to go to Iceland.
  16. I have to go to the store.
  17. What did you eat for lunch?
  18. What are you going to do after class
  19. What do you want to eat for lunch?
  20. Where do you want to go for lunch?
  21. Tell her I will be there at seven.
  22. Georgie had to make his own breakfast.
  23. When do you want them?
  24. He told him about the problem.
  25. What did you eat for lunch?
  26. Let us have chicken and beer. 
  27. I had to wake up at seven a.m. today. 
  28. I have to go to the store.
  29. Catch you later!
  30. Did you study?

Seeing and hearing these sentences will help you increase your understanding of spoken English. Understanding how words are blended together when spoken with relaxed speech will help you improve your listening skills.

Improve your Speaking with Shadowing

Using shadowing will help you increase your ability to speak English smoothly and at a natural speed. I wrote this to help you learn about shadowing:

The Shadowing Technique.

You can also check out this free shadowing lesson by my affiliate Shayna at Espresso English:

Shadowing With Shayna – Free Sample

More Practice

Listening Practice to Help You Understand Native Speakers: 10 more sentences with common reductions. It includes both reduced and non-reduced forms. The audio product on Ko-fi contains a file with these sentence too.

Recommended Online Listening Course

This site is reader supported through affiliate purchases.

If you want a structured method to improve your English listening, I recommend Espresso English’s listening course. It will guide you step-by-step through 45 lessons. You can also check out the free sample if you want more practice for free. 

If you purchase a course through one of the links above, thank you. Every little bit helps cover the cost of web hosting.

Never stop learning!