Common Reduced Forms in American English
1. Going to is pronounced GONNA when it is used to show the future. But it is never reduced when it means going from one place to another.
We're going to grab a bite to eat. = We're gonna grab a bite to eat.
I'm going to the office tonight. = I'm going to the office tonight.
2. Want to and want a are both pronounced WANNA and wants to is pronounced WANSTA. Do you want to can also be reduced to WANNA.
I want to go for a spin. = I wanna go for a spin.
Do you want a piece of cake? = Wanna piece of cake?
He wants to avoid rush hour. = He wansta avoid rush hour.
3. Have to is pronounced HAFTA and has to is pronounced HASTA.
Sorry, I have to leave now. = Sorry, I hafta leave now.
She has to go to work soon. = She hasta go to work soon.
4. Have reduces to AV or A in positive and negative phrases.
must have = must'av or must'a must not have = mustn'av or mustn'a
would have = would'av or would'a would not have = wouldn'av or wouldn'a
could have = could'av or could'a could not have = couldn'av or couldn'a
should have = should'av or should'a should not have = shouldn'av or shouldn'a
5. You is almost always pronounced YA, you're and your are pronounced YER, and yours is pronounced YERS.
Do you feel under the weather? = Do ya feel under the weather?
You're completely right. = Yer completely right.
Your brother will be fine. = Yer brother will be fine.
Is this book yours? = Is this book yers?
6. To is pronounced TA after voiceless sounds and DA after voiced sounds.
She wants to invite us to the party. = She wants ta invite us ta the party.
I need to go to bed now. = I need da go da bed now.
7. And and in both reduce to N.
Karen and Steve are coming to visit. = Karen 'n Steve are coming to visit.
Tim is in Paris this week. = Tom is 'n Paris this week.
9. D + Y = J T + Y = CH
did you = did'ju or did'ja let you = let'chu or let'cha
would you = would'ju or would'ja what you = what'chu or what'cha
could you = could'ju or could'ja don't you = don'chu or don'cha
should you = should'ju or should'ja didn't you = didn'chu or didn'cha
10. T is pronounced as D when it is between two vowels.
That's a great idea. = That's a gread idea.
What a great car! = What a great car.
T is not pronounced when it is between N and E.
center = cen'er
counted = coun'ed
11. The past tense form -ED is pronounced T after voiceless sounds, D after voiced sounds, and ID after T and D.
T D ID
talked played decided
dressed ordered wanted
wished happened needed
Similarly, the plural form –S is pronounced S after voiceless sounds, Z after voiced sounds, and IZ after S, Z, SH, and CH.
S Z IZ
desks sisters horses
cats legs peaches
tops eyes offices
12. The h sound in the pronouns he, him, his, and her and the th sound in them are not pronounced in fast speech when they are unstressed; however, they are pronounced when they are stressed.
I think he flunked bio class. = I think 'e flunked bio class.
I told him to study more. = I told 'im to study more.
He got an A on his final. = He got an A on 'is final.
She thinks her teacher is crazy. = She thinks 'er teacher is crazy.
Pop quizzes... I hate them! = Pop quizzes... I hate 'em