Pronunciation: Contracting WILL onto QUESTION WORDS

Learn Australia English in this Pronunciation episode of Aussie English where I teach you how contract WILL onto QUESTION WORDS.

Pronunciation: Contracting WILL on QUESTION WORDS

Hey guys, how’s it going? Welcome to this episode another one contracting the word WILL onto certain words, and these certain words in this episode are going to be QUESTION WORDS. So, QUESTION WORDS like WHAT, WHEN, WHO, WHERE, HOW and WHICH. And I’ve actually left out WHY. Well, not left it out, it’s included, but we’re not going to be contracting WILL on WHY, and I’ll get into that in a minute.

So, as we’ve covered in the previous episode the word WILL is an auxiliary verb and it is used to talk about three different things such as, the future, to talk about what people want to do or are willing to do, and to also talk about making promises or offers to people. So, if you want to get into the specifics there with examples go back to the previous episode and I go into that a little more, but principally, we use WILL to talk about things that are yet to happen, things are going to happen in the future, things that WILL happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, sometime in the future.

And so, today we’re going to be contracting the word WILL onto all of the different QUESTION WORDS except for WHY, except for WHY. And now I haven’t extensively researched exactly why WILL isn’t contracted onto WHY. It might be in certain cases, however, for me personally as a native speaker of English when I was writing this lesson out, and I wrote a few examples using WHY with the contraction of WILL on it, so WHY’LL, it sounded incredibly strange when I was reading these sentences aloud, and the reason for this I think is because when you contract WILL onto WHY and it becomes WHY’LL, or it would be pronounced or said as WHY’LL, it sounds exactly the same as the word WHILE spelt W-H-I-L-E, as in “Hold this WHILE I got and talk to so and so.” Or “WHILE I was waiting in line I saw my best friend” or “WHILE it was raining I saw a bird getting wet”, you know, it’s that idea of “during” and A WHILE can be a noun, but you know what the word WHILE is in English I’m sure by now. Anyway, I think ultimately contracting WILL onto the word WHY, the QUESTION WORD WHY, makes it sound too much like WHILE and it makes it confusing. So, when I was reading these sentences out it just… it didn’t sound right.

So, we’ll go through some example sentences in the listen and repeat exercise as well as in the substitution exercise where I’m going to include WHY and WILL, but I’m not going to contract it. So, this is just to try and enforce the fact that you don’t contract WILL onto WHY, at least, in my personal opinion. Again, it doesn’t matter if you guys do, you know, if you do this and people get confused they’re going to just ask you to clarify. Most of the time, though, they will probably understand what you’re talking about from context. And you guys will know exactly how this feels when any time you were learning English, you may still be at that point where any time someone says a word or a phrase or a grammatical aspect of English that you don’t understand instinctually straight away, you know how you skip over that, you just absorb it, you kind of work out what they’re talking about from context. Native English speakers still do this. If I miss a word because someone mumbles, if I miss a word because someone has an accent and they pronounce it incredibly differently from how I would pronounce it myself or how I’m used to hearing it within a few seconds, within 5-10 seconds I’m going to understand what they’re talking about it, it’s not a biggy, it doesn’t really matter. So, don’t get bogged down too much in the details, and don’t care if you do mistakes. If you accidentally contract WILL onto WHY it doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about that stuff at all guys. Get over that kind of worry. Mistakes are what is going to make your English really good.

Anyway, sorry about the sermon, sorry about the lecture, sorry about telling you all of that information prior to the exercise. So, let’s just get into it. This is the listen and repeat exercise as we usually do guys, and just to make things a little different here I’m going to do this in three steps. So, I’m going to say, for example, “What will”, and then I’m going to “WHA-T’LL”, and then I’m going to say, “WHADLE*”, so that you guys get an idea of how these contractions are formed.

* note: “Whadle” is not a real word. I’ve written it like this to give you an idea of how I’m pronouncing it phonetically. It’s the same story for anything else in ‘red italics’.

So, anyway, listen and repeat after me, and try and pronounce things exactly like I do. Let’s go!

Listen and repeat exercise: three step contraction

What will – Wha-T’ll – What’ll x 3

When will – Whe-N’ll – When’ll x 3

Who will – Who-(w)‘ll – Who’ll x 3

Where will – Whe-Re’ll – Where’ll x 3

How will – Ho-W’ll – How’ll x 3

Which will – Whi-Ch’ll – Which’ll x 3

So now remember we don’t contract WILL onto WHY, or at least we’re not going to practice that here. So, just pronounce WHY WILL as uncontracted, as the uncontracted form.

Why will – Why will x 3

So, a few things to talk about here, about that previous exercise. You guys are probably going to be thinking, “Why are we doing it in such a strange way?”. The main reason that I separated it into three steps there is that because a lot of these QUESTION WORDS end in consonant sounds like “WHAT”, “WHEN”, “HOW” and “WHICH” I wanted to show you guys and I wanted to let you guys practice bouncing the ‘LL sound off of those different consonants. And so, you break it down into two different syllables, for instance, WHAT WILL becomes WHADLE, but I really wanted you to practice the WHA- and then -T’LL, WHA-T’LL, WHA-T’LL. And it’ll help you hopefully when you speed up and speak more naturally and you’re saying WHAT’LL, WHAT’LL, WHAT’LL all the time like that, it’ll help you just instinctually do it without thinking.

And another thing to be aware of there in a few of these cases is that, firstly, when you end WHAT and you put the ‘LL on the end of it, as we talked about in the previous episode, because all of a sudden as soon as you take the W off the front of WILL and it becomes ‘LL the “T” in those words is now surrounded by vowels. So, it’s got an “A” before the “T” and then it’s followed by this ‘LL sound even though it’s not written (the vowel) because it’s contracted. And so, the “T” turns into a “D” sound. And so, “WHAT’LL” is actually said when said quickly, WHADLE, WHADLE, so it sounds like the word WADDLE as in a baby WADDLING, as in, not able to walk very correctly, you know, stumbling around, WADDLE.

Another one that we could talk about is WHERE and even though WHERE when it’s said not followed by a vowel it’s said without a consonant sound at the end. So, you just say “WHERE”, there’s no “R” sound. In English, at least Australian English, when we end a lot of these words that end in “R” (or an R sound) we often don’t pronounce the “R”, but if the following word starts with a vowel we often pronounce the “R”. So, we bounce the next word, the vowel of the next word, off the “R”. So, you’ll go back and you’ll notice that I said, “WHERE WILL”. So, I said, “WHERE”, no “R” (sound), + WILL, because WILL has the W at the start, consonant, but as soon as we contract WILL into ‘LL and it starts with a vowel sound I say “WHE-RE’LL”. So, I actually bounce off of the “R”. I say, “WHE-RE’LL”. So, it becomes WHE-RE’LL, WHE-RE’LL, WHE-RE’LL, not WHE’LL, WHE’LL. No, we don’t say it like that. We bounce it off the “R”.

Another one we can talk about is HOW WILL, and this becomes like the word HOWL as in like a dog howling, you know, “Awwwooooo”. HOW’LL it sounds the same there as that. So, that “W” kind of gets dropped a little bit, HOW’LL, HOW’LL. So, we don’t say HOWeh, it’s just HOW’LL.

And, WHICH, we sort of again, we bounce off that “C-H”. So, that was why I wanted to get in there and really work on those three steps. WHICH WILL, WHI-CH’LL, and then WHICH’LL, WHICH’LL.

So, that’s just something to think about there guys. There’s a few interesting things going on there. It’s nice to talk about these and draw your attention to it, because when you go through the exercise you’re probably going to remember exactly what I said, you know, about these different endings and how ‘LL bounces off some of these words that end in consonants or consonant sounds. And, by doing this you’re going to learn to speak more natively. So, you’re going to have a more fluid spoken English when you speak with natives, and you’re going to understand natives when they speak really quickly and contract words like WILL onto these different QUESTION WORDS.

So, it’s that time again to do a substitution exercise, guys. You know the drill. You’ve done this before. You’ve done this probably 10 times or more now. In this substitution exercise I’ve added in a bunch of time related words and phrases as I said in the previous episode to try and help you with some of these sentences where I talk about things in the future, to try and help you by giving you context.

So, again, I love helping learners of English learn through context based situations where you have a sentence that has a lot of context in it and helps you understand the different parts of the sentence based on the words that are used. So, you’re going to get the idea and it’s going to help you learn and practice your comprehension and understanding of these different words, especially, in this instance, the word WILL. So, again, we’re talking about the future.

So, let’s dive into this substitution exercise. And remember, treat it like a listen and repeat exercise if it’s a bit difficult at first. Or else, treat it as a substitution exercise where instead of repeating exactly what I say after the first sentence you try and contact it and then listen for me to say the second sentence to verify that you got it correct or not.

And, one more thing to note is that the example questions in here with WHY at the start I’m going to leave uncontracted and I’m going to say twice. So, I’m not going to contract WILL onto WHY as we spoke about because it sounds weird to me as a native speaker. I haven’t looked up the grammar, but it sounds like the word WHILE as in W-H-I-L-E. And so, it could lead to some confusion.

So, let’s go!

Substitution exercise:

What will he think?

What’ll he think?

When will we have to leave?

When’ll we have to leave?

Who will be at the party?

Who’ll be at the party?

Where will they go on holiday?

Where’ll they go on holiday?

Why will I need to be in charge?

Why will I need to be in charge?

How will she get home?

How’ll she get home?

Which will he choose?

Which’ll he choose?

What will they say to us tomorrow?

What’ll they say to us tomorrow?

When will it stop raining?

When’ll it stop raining?

Who will win the footy match this weekend?

Who’ll win the footy match this weekend?

Where will you be this arvo?

Where’ll you be this arvo?

Why will it take so long to finish?

Why will it take so long to finish?

How will the story end?

How’ll the story end?

Which will they decide to take home?

Which’ll they decide to take home?

I don’t know what will happen.

I don’t know what’ll happen.

When will we graduate from uni?

When’ll we graduate from uni?

Who will notice if we take one of the cupcakes?

Who’ll notice if we take one of the cupcakes?

Where will the best surf be at the beach?

Where’ll the best surf be at the beach?

Why will I need to finish the job?

Why will I need to finish the job?

How will the internet keep changing the world?

How will the internet keep changing the world?

Which will be the best course of action to take?

Which’ll be the best course of action to take?

So, listen and repeat this episode a few times guys. I know it’s going to be difficult, and I know that the substitution exercise, in particular, I speak naturally because I don’t really like trying to slow things down too much. You guys are at a level now where you need to be practicing your listening comprehension quickly, or quickly spoken listening comprehension like a native. I want to prepare you for interactions with native speakers. And also to be able to speak quickly like a native.

And so, I do know and I did notice that a lot of these examples are really subtle and they may be difficult to hear at first when you first go through this exercise. So, definitely do it a few times until you notice it. But, principally, first and foremost, the basic idea is for you guys to be aware of these contractions in English when listening, when hearing speakers of English use them, but then also how we contract it. So, how we’re physically doing this when we speak, you know, the sound that we’re making. But also so that you know how to do this, so that you can go off and naturally do this in the future without having to practice too much later on, and it’ll just happen naturally.

So, the basic idea here is to just get used to that ‘LL sound, that ‘LL, ‘LL, ‘LL and how it joins onto the back of other words, and to just practice your pronunciation of all these different kinds of words that end in different vowels and consonants, and just get your mouth used to putting the ‘LL sound onto these different words. So, it just takes practice. It just takes time. Keep at it guys and you’re only going to improve.

Anyway, see you in the next episode!

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