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Addison
How to pronounce "Used to" in the day life? I heard "Used to" from shows a lot of times, and noticed the naive speakers just drop the "d" sound. Am I listening right? And about "to", there are two sounds, " tu" and "te". Which one should I take?
Jun 2, 2015 5:15 PM
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Answers · 5
Yes, you are hearing correctly. You are right that the 'd' isn't pronounced in 'used to'. It is virtually impossible to pronounce a 'd' followed by a 't' in natural speech. The two sounds merge together, and only the 't' is said. You are also right that 'to' has two pronunciations: /tu:/ when it is stressed, and /tə/ when it is unstressed. In fact, the preposition 'to' is very rarely stressed. In the phrase 'used to xxx' it is unstressed, so the pronunciation is /tə/. The two words 'used to', spoken in connected speech, sound like /ju:stə/ . If the word 'Youstah' existed, it would be pronounced the same.
June 2, 2015
As commonly spoken, one can drop the 'd' when saying something like "I used to do that but I don't anymore". It is an example of connected speech that you can run into. However, it is not necessary to drop the 'd' What will make a difference in pronouncing this will be that you should pronounce the 's' in 'used to' as a 's' instead of like a 'z' as you might hear in the word 'used' as in "He bought a used car".
June 2, 2015
You are right, Addison, trust your ears. This a typical phonological feature of English, and can be observed in many situations. Here is another very common one: "Have to" pronounced /hæftə/. BTW, if the next word begins with a vowel, it's very common not to reduce the word "to" -- instead inserting a linking consonant, normally a "w." some British speakers keep the schwa and use a linking "r" instead of a "w."
June 7, 2015
Addison
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Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Russian
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