Thursday, June 6, 2013

Past modals - the Russian way or the "uh" way


Any really paid attention to how English native speakers connect sentences with modal verbs like should, could, might, can, would to talk about past situations?

Sometimes they sound like they're using Russian names, other times it sounds like they just add the letter to the verb.

Here are some examples.

Listen to Adele in this part of a song. What does she ACTUALLY say?

a. We could have had it all
b. We couldov had it all
c. We coulda had it all

Listen to how Rihanna sings in this song. What are her words?

a. Could have been a princess, you'd be a king
b. Coulda been a princess, you'd be a king
c. Couldov been a princess, you'd be a king



There seems to be a pattern here: When does it sound Russian and when does it have a letter "a" at the end?

modal + ov
with verb form that starts with a vowel sound/with verb form that starts with a consonant sound

modal + a  

with verb form that starts with a vowel sound/with verb form that starts with a consonant sound
 
 
Can you talk about ...
(Note: the words in bold are NOT words: they would be a representation of how we pronpounce them. Can you transcribe them into the real words?)
 
- Something you /shudanased/ recently?

- A historical myth that /kudnahapund/?

- Something your grandparents /woodanadun/ when they were teenagers/

- Something the Spanish explorers /mytoveaten/ when they first came to the New World


  For a look at some more on how speakers actually sound, go here.