Fluent English speakers/express their ideas/ in phrases and thought groups/and they do it/ without even thinking/. Many non-native speakers/ don’t speak in phrases/ and end up sounding choppy.

Do you speak in phrases or word by word?

Stress in Phrases

Each phrase has a primary stress point. It  is usually the stressed syllable in the last content word.  See examples.

Primary stress can be changed to show focus

  • The meeting was moved to next Wednesday at three fifteen
  • The meeting was moved to next Wednesday at three fifteen.

Linking in Phrases

When speaking, the words in each phrases run together through linking (moving the last sound of one word to the beginning of the next) and reduction (of function words). this makes each phrase sound smooth and fluent.

Phrasing is Key to Fluency

  1. Fluent English speakers talk in phrases and thought groups
  2. Speakers who don’t link words in phrases will sound choppy
  3. Speakers who group words in phrases incorrectly, may be incomprehensible

Speakersuse phrasing

tomake theirideas clear

andeasy tofollow

I’llha vaburger

medium rare

witha sideoffries

Themeeting wasmoved

Tonext Wednesday

atthree fifteen.


wason thetable

beforeI left