Today’s class was focused on enhancing the speaking skills of my student. Practically a lesson on pronunciation: Linking in English. When native speakers talk, they don’t pause between words. They pronounce whole phrases and even sentences as one continuous sound. My student was saying he could hardly catch his breathe. And it seems so.

If you want to speak English more fluently and sound more natural, you should try to do this too.

But how?

There are many pronunciation points you need to study, but today we’re going to look at just one very important point: linking.

Linking is how you connect words when you speak, so that two words are pronounced together.

There are three basic ways to link words in English: consonant to consonant, consonant to vowel, and vowel to vowel.

You can link two consonants if one word ends with a consonant sound, and the next word starts with the same sound, or a similar sound. In this case, the two words ‘share’ the consonant sound.

You can link any consonant to any vowel. It can be helpful to imagine that the consonant ‘belongs’ to the second word.

You can link two vowel sounds together by adding a consonant between them. You need to add /w/ or /j/ depending on the two vowel sounds.

If you’re not sure how to link two vowels, just relax and try out the different combinations. Remember that linking is supposed to make speaking easier, not harder!