I tried to read novel and could read every word correctly. But one thing that hindered me was the "connected speech or linking in English". I listened to the audio version of the book but as I listened, some parts they connected the words together but for some parts they didn't.

For example: " the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green..." . As I heard in the audio, I dont know why they didn't link "deep" with "and" but just "deep" + p + "and"

And example 2: "trees—willows fresh and green with every spring...." : should I link "with" with "every" to become "with devery"

My main problem is I dont know where I should link the words and not link (I know all the rules of linking C+V...but sometimes the speaker didn't link C with V that made me confused) , because of that I couldn't read smoothly. And as I listen to the audio, I found it hard to figure out whether the speaker/reader was using linking or not because it 's hard to detect the linking in the audio voice.

Thank you very much for your explanation.

  • 2
    Don't forget that English spelling does not represent English pronunciations, that there are no spaces or pauses between spoken words, and that "linking" is strictly a phenomenon of speech. For instance, there would never be a /d/ in any pronunciation of with every. There are a lot of possible fast speech rules that collapse clusters and even syllables, and it's hard to get used to them. – John Lawler Oct 16 '14 at 18:09

In spoken English, linking is pretty much universal, which is what gives English its sing-songy quality. This means that pauses can be used to create significant emphasis.

For example, without adding emphasis, I would read the phrase ...runs deep and green... as:


(notice that I dropped the /d/ from "and"). But if I wanted to emphasize that the river was deep, I would pause between "deep" and "and":

...runs-deep an-green...

If I wanted to emphasize that it was both deep and green, then I would pause both before and after "and" (which would also see the return of /d/):

...runs-deep and green...

  • Thank for your answer. But how I know when I should emphasize or not ? I try to find a universal rule of reading so that I could read from start to finish without interrupting to think about whether I should use emphasis/linking in this part...Could you please help me about this universal rule ? – tieu Oct 17 '14 at 14:14
  • There is no universal rule. If you are the author, then you would know what words you want to emphasize because you wrote the text. But if you are just reading the text, it's up to you as a reader to decide which words and/or phrases you want to emphasize. Now, you don't have to emphasize anything if you don't want to. But understand that this is a tool to aid in delivering the spoken word to help clarify for your listeners the important words and concepts. – Nick2253 Oct 17 '14 at 14:17
  • Thanks a lot with your answer. I tried to read along with the audio tapes of the books so that I could develop smooth reading. But I fount it hard to hear exactly what the tape was reading. For ex, "with every spring" and "with devery spring" were hard to distinguish or "The water is warm" and "The water ris warm". (i.e I couldn't hear whether the speaker was using connected speech or not). So as a result, I failed to read along the voice. Do you have any suggestions what I could do in this situation (failed to hear the tiny details)? Or should I just do an approximation and ignore details? – tieu Oct 19 '14 at 18:40
  • My sole purpose is reading the text fast with comprehension but not talking since I didnt need to talk English with anybody. Thank you very much for your help – tieu Oct 19 '14 at 18:46
  • Remember that linking (or not linking) is part of the rich toolbox of spoken languages, and has nothing to do with reading or writing. It sounds like you are looking for a set of rules for these tools, and they just don't exist. Each speaker has their own way they use or don't use these tools. As a general rule, linking is very common in English, and if you don't use it, you sound robotic. But it's not required, and different people link (and drop syllables/sounds, etc.) to different degrees according to their own speech patterns. – Nick2253 Oct 20 '14 at 14:45

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