Pronunciation: Contracting WOULD onto I, YOU, HE, SHE, WE, THEY & IT
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today we’re obviously going to be working on contracting the word WOULD. And the next few episodes are going to be focusing on how we contract WOULD onto various different words in English. So, in this episode we’re going to focus on contracting the word WOULD, the auxiliary word WOULD, onto the various different pronouns in English like, I, YOU, HE, SHE, WE, THEY and IT. You guys will probably already know this pretty well, but the whole point of this exercise and the whole point of this series, as well as this episode, is to just keep getting you good exposure to these contractions, (to) get you used to doing it and hopefully it gets to the point where it is boring and also incredibly natural for you to do. So, you’ll no longer have to think about this stuff. It just happens when you speak, when you write, whatever.
So, the auxiliary verb WOULD is used in several different ways, in several kind of tenses in English. I don’t really want to get too bogged down in the specifics here but I will just briefly go over it. You can use it in the Present Tense: I’d like to eat dinner, I’d like to go somewhere. So, “I would like to eat dinner” becomes “I’d like to eat dinner”. “I would go if I had time” becomes “I’d go if I had time”. So, that’s the Present (Tense).
We can also use it in the Past Tense. So, that’s when we follow WOULD with the word HAVE and then a past participle. So, for example, “I would have liked to eat dinner”, “I’d’ve* liked to eat dinner”. “I would have liked…” “I would have gone if I had time.”, “I’d’ve* gone if I had time”. So, that’s in the Past (Tense).
*Note: “I’d’ve” is a spoken contraction of “would + have” that isn’t written. “I’d have” or “I would’ve” are acceptable written contractions.
And then there are other examples where you can use this for things that you did repeatedly in the past. So, for example, if all the time when you were a young kid you had dinner at a certain time, for example, 5PM, you could say when talking about this, “When I was a kid I would have dinner at 5PM.” So, “When I was a kid I’d have dinner at 5PM”. “I would always get the bus to school as a child”, “I’d always get the bus to school as a child”.
So, those are those examples. You can use it in the PRESENT (Tense), in the PAST (Tense) and also for actions that were repeated in the PAST (Tense), that you used to do repeatedly all the time.
So, as I said at the start of this episode of this lesson we’re going to focus on just contracting WOULD onto the various different personal pronouns in English, I, YOU, HE, SHE, THEY, WE and IT. So, we’ll do it as we always do, just this little listen and repeat exercise guys. Listen and just repeat these contractions as well as the uncontracted forms at the start just to get you guys practicing your pronunciation and getting used to turning these uncontracted forms into the contracted forms.
So, let’s go. Listen and repeat after me.
Listen and repeat exercise:
I would – I’d x 5
You would – You’d x 5
He would – He’d x 5
She would – She’d x 5
It would – It’d x 5
We would – We’d x 5
They would – They’d x 5
I might just say here too for “It would” becoming “It’d” you can kind of choose whether or not you want to aspirate the “T” in “it”. So, you could just say “it” without aspirating that “T”, you’ve said “it”. Or you can say it with the aspirated “T” where you say “it”, “it”. So, when this is followed by the “ed” (sound) it can either sound like “ided”. It’s almost like there’s two “D’s” in there, “ided”. Or if you aspirate that “T” it sounds like “-ted” after the “i-“. So, it becomes “ited”, “ited”. That’s totally up to you guys, and to be quite honest, I think it’s the kind of thing that I probably do both in different situations. Anyway.
That’s just a little side note there for you guys if you really want to get into the details of how to pronounce “It would” when it’s contracted “ited” or “ided”.
So, we’ll go into the substitution exercise guys as we always do, and in this exercise today I’m going to do two different exercises, and not only are we going to focus on contracting the word WOULD onto the various pronouns, but at the same time I want to kill two birds with one stone and also practice some other common expressions or Like A Native kind of chunks of words that get used quite often with the word WOULD. So, if you follow the podcast and you’ve listened to my Like A Native series quite often those are expressions that aren’t necessarily interesting or difficult, they’re simple little things that native English speakers say. And so, I’ve got two of them today that follow the word WOULD.
So, WOULD BE BETTER OFF. WOULD BE BETTER OFF, this means to be in a better position, condition or situation. And that will be the first one we do in the first substitution exercise.
And then WOULD SOONER + DO SOMETHING, WOULD SOONER DO SOMETHING. And this is… It’s just a way of saying that you would rather do one thing than another thing. So, I’ll get to that in the next one, but to start with we’re going to focus on not only contracting WOULD onto the pronouns but also using the phrase BE BETTER OFF, TO BE BETTER OFF. And again, TO BE BETTER OFF means to be in a better position, condition or situation.
So, let’s do some of these phrases and by the end of this substitution exercise hopefully you guys will have not only learnt how to contract WOULD but you will have also learnt how to use WOULD BE BETTER OFF.
So, in the following exercise guys, as always, you can treat this as a Listen and Repeat exercise if it’s a little difficult at first where you just listen to what I say, you repeat it, and then you listen to the contracted form, the second sentence, and repeat that again. Or, if you want to make it a little bit more difficult for yourself, treat it as a substitution exercise where I say the first sentence and then instead of repeating that first sentence perfectly or exactly as I’ve said it, you contract WOULD and say the sentence with that contracted form. So, you know the drill by now I’m sure guys. Keep at it.
Let’s do this!
Substitution exercise 1:
1. I would be better off getting to sleep early.
2. You would be better off not waking the dog.
3. He would be better off behaving himself.
4. She would be better off cleaning her room.
5. It [an animal] would be better off in the wild.
And just imagine here, as a quick side note guys, when I’m saying IT I’m referring to an animal. So, imagine it’s in the zoo or in captivity and it needs to be released back into the wild. So, “It’d be better off in the wild”.
6. We would be better off eating healthy food.
7. They would be better off minding their own business.
See all answers in the Answer Section of the PDF transcript.
And as a mini side note here too guys, if you “Mind your own business” it means you don’t get involved in the affairs of other people. So, you keep to yourself, you don’t bother yourself with other people’s issues or other people’s business, the things they’re doing. So, you keep to yourself. You “Mind your own business”.
So, that’s the first substitution exercise there, guys. Go over it again if it was a little bit difficult. But keep practicing it and hopefully you’ll learn the sense of WOULD BE BETTER OFF DOING SOMETHING as well as how to contract WOULD onto the different pronouns.
And now for the second substitution exercise where this time, again, we’re going to practice contracting WOULD onto the various different pronouns that we’ve covered already, and we’re also going to practice the phrase WOULD SOONER DO SOMETHING. So, WOULD SOONER + A VERB + SOMETHING. So, remember that WOULD SOONER + DO SOMETHING means that you would rather do one thing over another thing. You would prefer to do something as opposed to another thing. And this is quite often said in an exaggerated form. And it’s used (when) talking about anything you would prefer to do over anything else.
So, let’s get into this!
Substitution Exercise 2:
1. I would sooner eat dirt than kiss her.
2. You would sooner die than hurt him.
3. He would sooner leave than talk to her.
4. She would sooner kill herself than wear that dress.
5. It [an animal] would sooner bite you than let you touch it.
And remember here, as a side note guys, I’m talking about an animal. So, this animal would prefer to bite you than to allow you to, say, pat it or touch it in some way.
6. We would sooner quit our jobs than work for them.
7. They would sooner believe me than you.
See all answers in the Answer Section of the PDF transcript.
So, I guess I can walk through these different sentences too guys just to give you an idea. If you say someone would sooner eat dirt than kiss someone then obviously they would prefer to eat dirt than to kiss someone. If someone would rather die than hurt someone it means that they obviously don’t want to hurt that person. They would rather kill themselves or die than harm someone. If you’d rather leave somewhere than talk to someone, obviously, you don’t like that person and you’d prefer to leave the party. If you’d rather kill yourself than wear a dress, again, that is a very good example of exaggeration. Obviously, you wouldn’t prefer to die than to wear a certain dress. I mean, hell, I’d wear a dress if it meant not dying, but it’s that exaggeration of “That dress is so awful I would rather die, I would rather kill myself than be seen alive in it.”. And obviously an animal would sooner bite you than let you touch it, the animal’s going to prefer that you don’t touch it and if you do touch it it’s going to bite you. We’d sooner quit our jobs than work for them. So, say you don’t want to sell out. You don’t want to work for a bad corporation. Maybe it’s Coca Cola or something and you would rather leave you job if Coke bought your company or somehow became your employer than work for Coke. And, they would sooner believe me than you, that’s just that idea that they trust me, they believe me way way way more than they would ever believe you. They would much prefer to believe what I say than actually believe you.
Anyway, that’s a little something extra for you guys, just to mix things up and walk you through those sentences.
Remember, guys, if you find this difficult, repeat it a few times, practice these different phrases, write them out, do whatever it is that you need to do in order to add them to your active vocabulary when you’re speaking, but the most important thing, the most important message to take away is really you need to use it. You need to be saying things like this in order to remember how to say them. You need to be writing things like this in order to remember how to write them. So, just keep using this stuff and that’s the whole point of these exercises where you listen and then repeat. I’m trying to make you say it yourself and build up that muscle memory and the neurological memory as well of how to say these words.
See you in the next episode guys!