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English Conversation – Checking in at an airport – American English


Are you ready to fly? In this week’s video, we’ll study conversation,
checking in at an airport. This is a video collaboration with Simple
English Videos, my friends Vicki and Jay. In this video, we’ll study conversation,
checking in at an airport. A Ben Franklin Exercise. At the end of the video, there will be a link
to Vicki’s video that will go over some of the specifics of checking in. Be sure to follow that link to see her video and
subscribe to her channel if you haven’t already. First, let’s take a look at the whole scene. The machine didn’t recognize my passport. I can help. Where are you flying to today? -Recife
-Rio We’re flying to Rio and then we have
a connecting flight to Recife. What are you looking for? My reading glasses. They’re on your head. I had a bottle of water. I threw that away. Why? You can’t take liquids on the plane. – Are you checking any bags?
– Yes, just one. – Can you put it on the scale?
– Sure! Can you check our bag through the Recife. No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through
customs. How much time do we have?
How long is our layover? About two and a half hours. That’s plenty of time. – Here are your boarding passes.
– Thank you. Your flight leaves from Gate 19 and boarding
begins at 11:20. Eleven twenty. – Have a great trip!
– We will! Now, let’s take a close look at what we’re hearing. The machine didn’t recognize my passport. Didn’t recognize. Did you notice how Jay pronounced the N apostrophe T contraction ‘didn’t’? He didn’t release the T. Didn’t. But rather,
ending this word with a nasal stop sound. Didn’t. N-n- The machine didn’t recognize my passport. Didn’t recognize my passport Didn’t recognize This is how we pronounce all N apostrophe
T contractions. N– Didn’t recognize. I can help. Did you notice how the word ‘can’ was reduced? K, schwa, N sound. So it sounds like there’s no vowel. Can- can- I can help. I can help. This is because ‘can’ is a helping verb here. It’s not the main verb. The main verb is ‘help’. ‘Can’ is usually a helping verb. And in these cases, we do reduce it. I can help. Where are you flying to today? Where are- I reduced the word ‘are’
to the schwa R sound, ‘ur’. Ur- where-ur It linked up with the word before: Where-ur. Where-ur. Where-ur. And just sounds like an extra syllable at
the end of ‘where’. Where are you flying to today? Where-ur. I pronounced a full OO vowel in the word ‘to’ but
I reduced the vowel in the word ‘today’ to the schwa. Tu- tu- today. So this syllable was short and this syllable,
‘day’ was longer. Today. What do you notice about the intonation of that question? Where are you flying to today? Today. The pitch went down at the end. But it’s a question. Questions that can’t be answered with Yes or
No do go down in pitch at the end, just like phrases. We’re flying to Rio and then we have a connecting
flight to Recife. Vicki has pronounced this beautifully in British English. As you know, this is an American English channel
and that’s really where my expertise is. I’m not going to comment too much on what
Vicki says, except to point out a few differences between British English and American English. What are you looking for? My reading glasses. The first major difference I’ll point out
is how she pronounced the phrase ‘what are’. She made a True T here. And most Americans will make that a Flap T. What-r. What are you looking for? I noticed that people who speak British English
tend to make many more True Ts than Americans. We like to make more Stop Ts and Flap Ts. What-r. But Vicki says… What are your looking for? What do you notice about the intonation of this question? Looking for? It goes down in pitch at the end. Because it cannot be answered with Yes or No. My reading glasses. No reductions in Jay’s short sentence but listen to how the sounds and words all flow together. My reading glasses. One thought with a swell over the stressed syllable ‘read’. My reading glasses. All one nice smooth phrase. My reading glasses. They’re on your head. I had a bottle of water. Jay flapped the double T in ‘bottle’ so that
it sounded like an American D. Bottle. Bottle. Also the word ‘water’. Vicki probably would have said this with True Ts. Bottle and wat-t-t…True T. Actually, ‘water’ is an interesting word because it sounds totally different in British English
than it does in American English. The vowel is different, the pronunciation
of T is different. And the pronunciation of the last two letters
is different. I actually have a video on how American pronounce
the word ‘water’. Check it out! I had a bottle of water. – I threw that away.
– Why? Another clear True T from Vicki where an American
probably would have flapped that. I threw that away. That-a… I threw that away. But Vicki says… I threw that away. Why? Again, up but then down at the end. Why? This is a question that cannot be answered with Yes or No. Why? You can’t take liquids on the plane. Are you checking any bags? Here, I pronounce the word ‘are’ more fully
with a vowel. Are. Aaaare. I wouldn’t have to. Even though it’s the beginning of the sentence,
I could still reduce it to ‘Urr”. Ur you checking? But I said ‘are’. Are you checking? Are you checking any bags? Smooth connection across the phrase with the
stressed syllables ‘check’ and ‘bags’. It’s a question. What do you notice about the intonation? Are you checking any bags? This is a Yes/No question. So the pitch should go up at the end. But actually, I made it so the pitch goes down. Bags. Are you checking any bags? Okay, so the rules aren’t perfect. I also could have said this with intonation
going up at the end. Are you checking any bags? And in general, it’s more polite to make your
intonation go up at the end of a Yes/No question. – Are you checking any bags?
– Yes, just one. Can you put it on the scale? Another ‘can’ reduction. Kn- kn- Why is that? What’s the main verb here? The main verb is ‘put’. So ‘can’ is a helping verb. Reduce it. Can you put it on the scale? Scale? The intonation does go up at the end of this
Yes/No question. Can you put it on the scale? I noticed my Flap T is making this little
3-root phrase very smooth. Puuuttiiiton. Put it on. Can you put it on the scale? Not True Ts but just flapping the tongue against the mouth to make the connection between the words smoother. Put it on. Can you put it on the scale? Sure. There are a couple different ways to pronounce this word. I usually say ‘sure!’ Jay said, ‘Sure!. Both are acceptable. Sure. Can you check out backs through to Recife? Notice Jay reduced ‘can’ to ‘kn’. Can you check our bags? What’s the main verb here? Can you check our bags through to Recife? The main verb is ‘check’ so ‘can’ is a helping
verb and we want to reduce that. The word ‘to’, Jay pronounced that with a
Flap T and the schwa. This is the common reduction:
Through-da. Through-da. Through-da. Can you check our bags through to Recife? Through to Recife? No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs. Can’t. I did pronounce a strong True T there, didn’t I? I was being extra clear. What do you notice about the vowel in the word ‘can’t’? No, I can’t. It’s a full AA vowel. AA. Even though we reduced the vowel in the word
‘can’ often, we do not reduce the vowel in the word ‘can’t’. No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs. I reduced the vowel in ‘to’ to the schwa. You’ll need te-
You’ll need te- You’ll need to pick it up in Rio- Pick it up. What do you notice about the T here? Pick it up. Its a Flap T. It comes between two vowels
so I made that sound like the American D sound. Pick it up. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio- You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs. Again, I reduced the vowel in ‘to’. Now I could make this T a Flap T, but I didn’t. I made it a True T….in Rio Te …in Rio Te But I could have said ‘in Riote’ You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs. How much time do we have?
How long is our layover? What do you notice about the intonation of
these two questions? After the phrase peaks on the stressed word
‘time’, ‘do we have’, the last three words are all pretty low in pitch, heading down. How much time do we have? Layover. Both of these phrases, questions, but not Yes/No questions, go down in pitch. How much time do we have?
How long is our layover? About two and a half hours. That’s plenty of time. Did you notice the very clear Stop T in ‘about’? About two and a half hours. I made it True T for ‘two’ but I made a Stop T for ‘about’. About, stop the air, two and a half hours. This is how you’ll want to pronounce this
when one word ends in a T and the next word begins in a T. About two and a half hours. Don’t make two T sounds. Just make a stop and then one true T. About two and a half hours. How did I pronounce the word ‘and’? I reduced it to just the schwa N sound. Nn- Two and a half. Notice the L in ‘half’ is silent. About two and a half hours. That’s plenty of time. Vicki made a nice clear True T here. That’s plenty of time. Americans will often drop the T completely
when it comes after an N. Actually, we’ll see an example of this in
just a minute. – Here are your boarding passes.
– Thank you. Here are your boarding passes. I did make a full vowel in the word ‘are’. But it was still very fast, very quick. It’s a function word, it doesn’t need much time. Here are your… Here are your boarding passes. Thank you. Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20. Your flight leaves.. The word ‘your’ was very fast. I reduced it so that it has the schwa R ending. Yer. Yer flight. Your flight leaves. Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20. ‘Flight leaves’ with a clear stop T, not released. Flight…flight…flight leaves Your flight leaves Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20. Eleven twenty. Here is the example I talked about earlier. Americans often drop the T when it comes after an N. ‘Twenty’ is a perfect example. I did it. Eleven twenty. And so did Jay. Eleven twenty. Twenty. Eleven twenty. Have a great trip! Great trip. Again, I did not make two Ts. One word ended in a T, the next word began
in a T, but I didn’t repeat the T. Great trip. Have a great trip! Trip. The TR consonant cluster can be,
and often is pronounced as CHR. CHRip. Instead of TRip. TRip. Have a great trip. Let’s hear the whole dialogue again. The machine didn’t recognize my passport. I can help. Where are you flying to today? -Rio
-Recife We’re flying to Rio and then we have
a connecting flight to Recife. -What are you looking for?
-My reading glasses. They’re on your head. I had a bottle of water. I threw that away. Why? You can’t take liquids on the plane. – Are you checking any bags?
– Yes, just one. – Can you put it on the scale?
– Sure. Can you check our bags through to Recife? No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through
customs. How much time do we have?
How long is our layover? About two and a half hours. That’s plenty of time. – Here are your boarding passes.
– Thank you. Your flight leaves from Gate 19 and boarding
begins at 11:20. Eleven twenty. – Have a great trip!
– We will! Thanks to Vicki and Jay for this video idea. Click here or in the description below to see Vicki’s companion video and to subscribe to her channel. If you’re new to Rachel’s English, welcome! I have over 500 videos on my YouTube channel
to help you speak better American English. Click here to see my channel and subscribe. Or get started with this playlist. Link is also in the description below. And I have a great eBook, over 290 pages to
help you speak better American English with over two and a half hours of audio. It puts out a path, start to finish, to help
you speak your best American English. Click here or in the description below to
get your copy today. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s
English.

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