Key at bottom of page.
there: When there has its existential use (e.g. There's a man outside. /ðəz ə ˈmæn ˈaʊtˈsaɪd/ There's a pen on the table. /ðəz ə ˈpen ɒn ðə ˈteɪbl̩/ There are too many. /ðər ə ˈtuː ˈmeni/ There were two choices. /ðə wə ˈtuː ˈʧɔɪsɪz), it is usually unstressed and has the weak form /ðə/.
When a word ends in schwa /ə/ and is immediately followed (without a pause) by a word beginning with a vowel, the consonant /r/ is inserted between the vowels. This process is known as /r/-liaison and also occurs after /ɑː ɔː ɜː eə ɪə ʊə/.
are: When unstressed, as it usually is, are has the weak form /ə/.
two: Numbers are usually stressed and don’t have weak forms.
kinds: When /d/ is at the end of a word (more specifically, in a syllable coda) and is immediately preceded by a consonant, it is commonly elided/deleted when another consonant immediately follows (i.e. without a pause) in another word or, as in this case, in a suffix.
of: When unstressed, as it usually is, of has the weak form /əv/. When a consonant immediately follows in the next word, of can have the form /ə/. This is particularly common before /ð/ (e.g. of the, of those, of them, of this, of that) and in high-frequency phrases (e.g. a cup of tea, a bunch of grapes).
statistics: Plural s has three pronunciations depending on the sound at the end of the noun:
- /ɪz/ after /s z ʃ ʒ ʧ ʤ/
- /s/ after the remaining voiceless consonants
- /z/ after vowels and the remaining voiced consonants.
The same pattern applies to third person singular s, possessive s and the contraction of is.
the: When unstressed, as it usually is, the definite article the has the weak form /ðə/ when the following word begins with a consonant.
kind you: When a word ends with /d/ and the immediately following word begins with /j/, the /d/ and the /j/ can combine to form /ʤ/. This is known as coalescent assimilation. It is most common with the high-frequency words you and your, especially when they occur with grammatical inversion, e.g. could you /ˈkʊʤu/, would you /ˈwʊʤu/, did your /ˈdɪʤɔː/, etc.
The symbol u represents the same vowel phoneme as the symbol uː. We use u in unstressed syllables and uː in stressed syllables. This distinction isn't very helpful for TEFL purposes and learners should simply treat the two symbols as the same. Because we are using two different symbols for one phoneme, this means our transcription isn't truly phonemic (phonemic transcription = one symbol for each phoneme).
look up/make up: These two phrasal verbs would usually have their main stress on the word up, but in this joke the two phrasal verbs are contrasted and so the main stress is put on the two elements, look and make, that are different and not on up, which is common to both phrasal verbs.
up: The word up has no weak form.
and: When unstressed, as it usually is, and has the weak form /ən/ or /ənd/. Some books say that /ən/ is used before consonants and /ənd/ before vowels, but this is not true. While both forms can be heard before consonants and vowels, /ən/ is much more common than /ənd/. Learners can safely use only /ən/ for the weak form of and because it will never be wrong to do so.