I have listened to a song 'since you been gone'. The singer pronounces 'since you been gone' as 'sinchu been gone'. At least I have heard that. Am I correct? Here that part https://youtu.be/R7UrFYvl5TE?t=18s. If I am then can you please tell why it sounds that way? How can the sound 'ch' be appeared there?

closed as off-topic by NVZ, Helmar, Phil Sweet, Scott, Chenmunka Sep 14 '16 at 17:31

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    Hello, Александр Б. Sorry, ELU deals with accepted English usage, and song lyrics were classed as off-topic as they're often not. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 12 '16 at 21:07
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    It sounds something like sinchu, but it could equally be sin'tcha, which is acceptably colloquial, akin to dontcha for don't you. – Andrew Leach Sep 12 '16 at 21:51
  • You're not hearing it right. The words are slurred somewhat as a result of the recording and editing, but, after listening to it, I can say it's "Since you've been gone". What you're hearing is "normal" slurring for this sort of recording. (Note that when you pronounce "since you" rapidly the sounds will indeed blend together. This is just normal English, and I doubt that other languages are any different.) – Hot Licks Sep 12 '16 at 23:29
  • It is really not about lirycs. My question is about "epenthesis" (as Suməlic called it below). First time I have heard that was The Angry Birds movie. ... 00:04:01,160 --> 00:04:04,835 I'm not sure you're gonna like this, um, but since you asked. ... The red bird pronounces "since you" as sinchu or sincha. So I decided to google this phrase "since you" and faced the song I posted here. Song is easier to reach in the Internet so I chose it as an example here in my question. And I do not care about lirycs in this song. – Александр Б Sep 13 '16 at 5:43
  • For evidence that pronunciation of sinchuh bin gon and sinchew bin gon can be variable for the same person, listen to Freda Payne's song "Band of Gold" at 1:17 (sinchuh), 2:24 (sinchew), and 2:46 (sinchuh). – Sven Yargs Sep 13 '16 at 7:18

It's not wrong, although it might be considered a bit informal.

The pronunciation of "since" in isolation is generally transcribed as /sɪns/. However, this pronunciation may be affected by the phonetic process of epenthesis. This causes /ns/ to change to [nts], or /nʃ/ to change to [ntʃ] (or more generally, this process may cause any nasal consonant to extrude a plosive after it when it is followed by a voiceless fricative in the same syllable). So many people pronounce "since" the same as a hypothetical word "sints"; that is, [sɪnts]. This occurs due to the articulatory difficulty of producing a nasal consonant directly followed by a voiceless fricative. John Wells describes this process in the following blog post: some day my prints will come.

The pronunciation of "you" in isolation is generally transcribed as /juː/ (stressed or "strong" form) or /jə/ (unstressed or "weak" form"). However, the pronunciation of the two words /sɪns/ and /juː/ in sequence may be affected by the phonetic process of assimilation. The assimilation is the change of the sequence /sj/ to [ʃ], more or less. (More precisely, the change to [ʃ] is assimilation, and the loss of one of the segments is called "coalescence"). The /s/ is said to be "palatalized" in this environment. Assimilation of /s/ to a following /j/, resulting in [ʃ], is not mandatory across word boundaries, but it is common. John Wells describes this on a page from his old phonetic blog (scroll down to the Thursday 15 January 2009 post "Asshimilation").

When you combine these processes, you get "since you" pronounced as [sɪntʃuː] or [sɪntʃə], with a "ch" sound (IPA [tʃ]).


You are not hearing things. This sometimes happens in song and informal speech, especially as people talk more quickly.

It is sometimes done in a more exaggerated way in order to make a rhyme. In "Baby Got Back", by Sir Mix-A-Lot, there is this rhyme:

Oh, baby I wanna get with ya

And take your picture

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/onehitwonders/babygotbacklyrics.html

On the page, this doesn't look like it should rhyme, but "with ya" is pronounced more like "wit-cha" and picture is pronounced like "pit-cha".

  • Sorry I did not mark your answer as "answer" but your answer is very useful as an example. :-) Sorry for tautology. – Александр Б Sep 13 '16 at 5:23
  • It's a shame this is marked as off topic. I think this is the kind of thing that English learners could easily get tripped up on when listening to native speakers speaking naturally. – Ocie Mitchell Dec 21 '16 at 17:04

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