Informal Contractions, Part 2: Multi-Word Contractions (For Advanced Learners) - Podcast Episode 14


Audio Transcript
Welcome to episode 14 of The English Sessions. Multi-word contractions. I am your host and English teacher, Mike Butler. These podcasts can help you improve your English! Together, we will talk about grammar… pronunciation… structure... and have some fun too. Remember to visit my website, www.englishsessionswithmike.com to contact me for private lessons, and for more content.
You can also read the transcript of this audio on the website, as you listen to this episode.

Listen for these words today:

Proper - Something ‘proper’ is something that is conventional, established and official. We have ‘proper’ English (the English that we are told to speak) and informal English (the English that we actually use all the time!).

Breakdown - in today’s context, ‘breakdown’ just means an analysis, or explanation of something.

Reach out - to ‘reach out’ is a phrasal verb, that means to contact someone, often for help with something.
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Let’s continue our series on contractions. As a reminder, a contraction is a word that is a combination of two or more words. “Don’t” is a very common contraction. It is the contraction of “do not”. If you remember, in episode 3, I told you that ‘goodbye’ is a contraction! That’s right! It is a contraction of ‘God be with you’. Today, we will focus on other words that are contractions of at least 3 or more words. Some multi-word contractions are very common and proper, like ‘goodbye’, and some are much more informal, like ‘imma’ from episode 5, “I’m going to”.

Here’s a challenge. I’m going to say a few sentences with several informal, multi-word contractions. Try to guess what words I’m using within  these contractions: “Howdy everybody! It looks like Mary is late to the meeting again! She’d’a been here by now if she’d followed my directions to the meeting place. Who’d’a thought that she’d be late 3 times in a row! In all fairness, maybe we shouldn’t’ve changed the location of the meeting so many times. John, y’aint heard from her, have you? No? Okay. D’y’all want to start without ‘er? (REPEAT)

Was that difficult to understand? That was a lot of informal language!

Here is a breakdown of the list of multi-word contractions:
    •    Howdy - a contraction of ‘how do you do?’, in other words, I’m just asking “how are you?”. This is a common greeting in some parts of the United States. In fact, the history of this contraction tells us that it was originally from ‘how do ye…’. Do you remember this pronoun ‘ye’? I mentioned it in episode 5. It is not common in modern English.
    •    She’d’a is a contraction of ’she would have’.
    •    Who’d’a is a contraction of ‘who would have’.
    •    Shouldn’t’ve is a contraction of ‘should not have’. Notice how many of these multi-word contractions involve a modal verb, like ‘should’ or ‘would’, and the verb ‘have’.
    •    D’y’all is a contraction of ‘do you all’.
    •    Y’ain’t: I saved the most complicated one for last. “Y’ain’t” is a contraction of “You ain’t”.
    •    Ain’t: …and now is our chance to talk about the informal contraction, ‘ain’t’. “Ain’t” is an amazing little contraction. This word is very informal, but it IS in the Oxford dictionary. It can be a contraction of ‘am not; are not; is not’, as in, “I ain’t home. I’m at the store”, and it can even have the meaning of ‘has not’ or ‘have not’, even though it doesn’t look anything like those words! Our example, “y’aint heard from her…” uses “have not” in the contraction. In other words, “y’aint heard from her…?” = You have not heard from her. Go to the website, www.englishsessionswithmike.com, to see an example of “y’aint” from a Facebook post being used in this way…. and follow the link from the Facebook post to watch a music video of a good band from Memphis, Tennessee.



Okay, I’m going to read my sentences again, but without the contractions: “How are you, everybody? It looks like Mary is late to the meeting again! She would have been here by now if she had followed my directions to the meeting place. Who would have thought that she would be late 3 times in a row! In all fairness, maybe we should not have changed the location of the meeting so many times. John, you have not heard from her, have you? No? Okay. Do you all want to start without her?”

Was that a little bit easier to follow? Let’s try again with the contractions: “Howdy everybody! It looks like Mary is late to the meeting again! She’d’a been here by now if she’d followed my directions to the meeting place. Who’d’a thought that she’d be late 3 times in a row! In all fairness, maybe we shouldn’t’ve changed the location of the meeting so many times. John, y’aint heard from her, have you? No? Okay. D’y’all want to start without ‘er?

Remember, today’s lesson may be difficult for students who are not advanced learners. I used some pretty complicated conditional structures here. Remember to go to the website for a transcript of this episode, and reach out to the podcast if you have questions.
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Here is a comment left by our French learner, Renaud. He left a comment on the website, for the episode about the silent ‘h’ in English. There were a couple minor errors that I found in the original message, so I changed some of the words in his comment. Go to the website ( https://www.englishsessionswithmike.com/2020/04/silent-h-at-beginning-of-words-podcast.html ) to read the original comment, and my corrections. I encourage you to ask me about the corrections that I made! Here are clues, I made corrections related to a preposition, an adjective that should have been used, a word that SHOULD have an ‘h’ that is NOT silent ; I also removed one preposition and changed some word order. Everything else was great though! Here is the comment:

RENAUD (ORIGINAL MESSAGE) : Hi Mike, I was so surprise earing to my voice at the end of your podcast ! thank you .
So, an homage is a special honour or respect shown publicly ( I thank Google ) , In France, every day at 8 PM, people in the cities applaud those who work in hospitals to pay homage to them. It is correct to replace homage by tribute ?
Your pronunciation of "hors d'œuvre" is quite correct ! I didn't know that french word was used in English
Thank you Mike for this lesson. Take care

(SILENT ‘H’ EPISODE)  RENAUD CORRECTIONS:
I was so SURPRISED TO HEAR MY VOICE at the end of your podcast. Thank you. So, an homage is a special honour or respect shown publicly (I thank Google). In France, every day at 8PM, people in the cities applaud those who work in hospitals to pay homage to them. IS IT correct to replace homage WITH tribute?)
Your pronunciation of "hors d'œuvre" is quite correct ! I didn't know that French word was used in English
Thank you Mike for this lesson.

Did you hear how I pronounced ‘homage’? I instinctively wanted to say ‘hoMAGE’ for the first time it was mentioned, but felt that it was normal to say ‘HOMage’ when the word was used after the verb ‘pay’. This word keeps coming up in so many episodes, that I decided to address the difference in pronunciation here. I use the Oxford dictionary for my pronunciation guide. According to the Oxford dictionary that I have on my computer, ‘HOMage’, with the main syllable stress, or emphasis, on the first syllable, not the second. My dictionary tells me that this is the accepted pronunciation for both British and American English. However, I cannot deny the fact any longer that I most definitely hear ‘hoMAGE’ all the time! If we reference a different resource, the often cited Merriam-Webster dictionary, we see that (hoMAGE) IS an accepted way to pronounce this word (ō-ˈmäzh). ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homage ) . Is this word similar in your language? How is it said in your language, and how have you heard it before in English?

ANSWER TO RENAUD’S QUESTION: And to answer Renaud’s question, yes, ‘tribute’ is a synonym for ‘homage’. A “synonym” is a word that has a very similar meaning to another word. There are many of these in English! In fact, we often use the same verb, ‘pay’, with ‘tribute’ as well. For example, “the event paid tribute to the great Jazz legend, John Coltrane. In other words, the event organizers wanted to show respect for John Coltrane, perhaps by playing his music or talking about his amazing life. Both ‘homage’ and ‘tribute’ have their roots in Latin, as many English words do. The root words in Latin that ‘homage’ and ‘tribute’ are based on have pretty different meanings, though. If your native language is a Latin based language, write in to the podcast so we can discuss these two words. For example, is there a difference in meaning between the two Spanish words, “homenaje” and “tributo”? Are they used in different contexts? Sometimes in English, two words can be so similar in meaning, that the only difference is the context in which they are used, and perhaps the sentence structure and other words that are paired with it. As I’ve said before, the study of the history of words is called ‘etymology’, and boy oh boy, do I enjoy this subject.



RECORDING FROM ANIA: Here is another very nice message from Ania, in Poland.——clip——. Some kind words, and some great English sentence structure! Thank you, Ania.

Any questions? Write to me at mike@englishsessionswithmike.com . Leave a message for me on the website, www.englishsessionswithmike.com and I will play it on the podcast. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast so you won’t miss an episode. Visit www.englishsessionswithmike.com for more content. Please rate and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, this is Mike signing off. 

https://freepd.com/epic.php (Written by Rafael Krux)





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