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Lesson 1 | Want to

Welcome to True Spoken English. These simple lessons will teach you secrets to speaking English. They will teach you common pronunciation changes that English speakers make. These changes are informal and rarely taught to a person learning English. But these changes are made by almost all English speakers. By learning these changes, you’ll understand English more easily, and your English will sound more like a native speaker. You’ll find these changes easy to learn and they will speed up your speaking and fluency.

What if I don't understand the vocabulary in the lessons?

Don't worry. First, the lessons use very simple vocabulary, so if you've studied English a little, you may know most of the words already. And any time you don't understand something, you can select your language from the menu at the bottom of the page. You will then see the lesson translated into your language, so that you can learn anything you don't know.

intro1

Introduction

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When I talk to others in friendly conversation, I often speed up my speech. I change words to make them faster to say.

For example, when I speak to other friends, I pronounce “want to” as “wanta.” I say to friends, “I wanta see a movie.” I say “I want to see a movie” in a formal conversation or when I want to be clear. But in casual conversation, I use “wanta”; I say, “I wanta” “I wanta see a movie.” It’s much faster and my English speaking friends all understand and make this change as they speak.

So, as a person learning English, you must know about this change if you want to clearly understand what is said to you. And you should use this change, too, to make your English sound more conversational, more like a native speaker.

There are many English changes like this. And in this course you’ll hear and practice the most common ones. It’ll help your understanding of casual English, and improve the sound and speed of your conversation.

Exercise 1

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Let’s look closer at a common change, listen.

I wanta go fishing.

The words “want to” can change to “wanta,” the word “to” is pronounced “ta” and sounds the same as word “the.” This “uh” sound is often used in the changes you’ll learn here.

Listen

I wanta go surfing.

I wanta go surfing.

Read

I wanta go surfing.

Next, let’s practice this change.

Exercise 2

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For practice, say these sentences slowly.

I wanta go surfing.

I wanta go fishing.

I wanta go jogging.

I wanta go biking.

I wanta go kayaking.

Repeat (reading)

Now say these sentences quickly.

I wanta go surfing.

I wanta go fishing.

I wanta go jogging.

I wanta go biking.

I wanta go kayaking.

Exercise 3

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When you speak slowly and clearly, you say “to.” When you speak in normal conversation, you often say “ta.”

Listen to and repeat these sentences slowly for practice.

I wanta play in the sand.

I wanta sit on the beach.

I wanta walk my dog.

I wanta walk on the beach.

I wanta go ta the beach.

Repeat (listening)

Now repeat these sentences quickly.

I wanta play in the sand.

I wanta sit on the beach.

I wanta walk my dog.

I wanta walk on the beach.

I wanta go ta the beach.

Exercise 4

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However, saying “wanta” isn’t the fastest way that it’s pronounced. I often change the words “want to” to a single sound “wanna.”

Listen

I wanna go surfing.

I wanna catch a wave.

I wanna ride a wave.

I wanna go golfing.

I wanna go camping.

Read

Now you try it, say these sentences quickly.

I wanna go surfing.

I wanna catch a wave.

I wanna ride a wave.

I wanna go golfing.

I wanna go camping.

Exercise 5

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Now, you change these sentences using “wanna.” Say them slowly.

I wanna go surfing.

I wanna go fishing.

I wanna go jogging.

I wanna go biking.

I wanna go kayaking.

Listen and Repeat

Now listen to these sentences and say them quickly.

I wanna go surfing.

I wanna go fishing.

I wanna go jogging.

I wanna go biking.

I wanna go kayaking.

Exercise 6

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Okay, so you understand the change. Listen to these sentences and see if you can understand and repeat them.

I wanna go ta the beach tamorrow.

I wanna take my family ta the beach.

I wanna go horseback riding taday.

I wanna walk in the water.

I wanna take a long walk on the beach.

Repeat

Here are some sentences, read them and change them for normal conversation.

I don’t want to walk home.

Do you want to dance?

He doesn’t want to come with us.

All I want to do is go home.

They want to stay at the beach all day.

Exercise 7

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Here’s one last change like this that you should know. When I say, “He wants to” I change “wants to” to “wansta.”

Listen

He wansta play in the sand.

Read

He wansta play in the sand.

Listen and Repeat

Listen to these sentences and repeat them.

He wansta play in the sand.

He wansta learn to surf.

He wansta take his shoes off and run.

She wansta each her sandwich now.

It wansta steal your sandwich.

Read and Change

Last change these sentences using “wantsa.”

He wants to go crabbing.

He wants to go biking.

He wants to go home.

He wants to sand his boat.

He wants to go boogey boarding.

Comment

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I live in a small town. Do you wanna see it?

One thing that you should understand: using “wanta” and “wanna” and “wansta” in conversation is perfectly fine when talking to your friends. But these changes are almost never written. You should not write these changes in written letters, emails, or school papers, because they are spoken changes. They would look incorrect when written. So, in general, I don’t write these.

And a last thing you should know: you must be able to use formal English pronunciation when needed. You shouldn’t just use the changes “wanna” or “wansta” all the time.

When speaking to a friend, I might say, “I wanna go home.”

But if this situation is formal or I need to speak clearly, I would say, “I want to go home.” If I was in a meeting, I might say, “I wanna say something.” But, if people didn’t understand me, I’d slow down and say, “I want to say something.” So in formal situations, you must be able to slow down and use formal pronunciation.

Final Conversation

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Okay, listen to this conversation for the changes that you’ve learned.

Hey, how’s it going?

Pretty good, do you wanna see a movie tonight?

Sure, what do you wanna see?

Well, my girl friend is coming and she wansta see Avatar.

I already saw that, I don’t wanna see it again.

Okay, good lesson, let’s learn some more.

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