So…it’s time for a sing-a-long.
Notice that the original words to the song say:
What shall we do with a drunken sailor.
This video version, however, says:
What will we do with a drunken sailor.
Now listen to my version,
using a common American English verb form.
What are we going to do with a drunken sailor.
are going to do
My verb form is much longer,
so we have to reduce some sounds to fit the music.
First, let’s divide the sentence into word groups.
(What are we) (going to do) (with a) (drunken sailor)?
(What are we)
(going to do)
Now, let me show you how I practice a long sentence.
I start from the end of the sentence.
with a drunken sailor
going to do with a drunken sailor?
What are we going to do with a drunken sailor?
And now you and I can sing together.
Reduction is a basic part of American English pronunciation.
What is Reduction? Find out here. [link]
Mai Le says
I really like this! Could you teach more about reduction via the song like this.
Eva Easton says
This is a great request. I love to sing, so it’s just an excuse for me to sing some more.
Good idea. Singing is perfect for practicing reduction.
Thanks for taking the time to write.