To understand linking, it is important to know the difference between vowel sounds and consonant sounds. Here is a table of English vowelsand consonants:
vowels a e i o u
consonants b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z
The table shows the letters that are vowels and consonants. But the important thing inlinking is the sound, not the letter. Often the letter and the sound are the same, but not always.
For example, the word "pay" ends with:
• the consonant letter "y"
• the vowelsound "a"
Here are some more examples:
ends with the letter h w
ends with the sound o o
begins with the letter u h
begins with the sound y oLinking Consonant to Vowel
When a word ends in a consonant sound, we often move the consonant sound to the beginning of the next word if it starts with a vowel sound.
For example, in thephrase "turn off":
We write it like this: turn off
We say it like this: tur noff
Remember that it's the sound that matters. In the next example, "have" ends with:
• the letter "e"(vowel)
• the sound "v" (consonant)
So we link "have" to the next word "a" which begins with a vowel sound:
We write it like this: Can I have a bit of egg?
We say it like this:Ca-nI-ha-va-bi-to-fegg?
Linking Vowel to Vowel
When one word ends with a vowel sound and the next word begins with a vowel sound, we link the words with a sort of W or Y sound.
If our lipsare round at the end of the first word, we insert a W sound:
We write it like this: too often who is so I do all
We say it like this: tooWoften whoWis soWI doWall
If ourlips are wide at the end of the first word, we insert a Y sound:
We write it like this: Kay is I am the end she asked
We say it like this: KayYis IYam theYend sheYasked