To create a smooth, fluid link from a word ending in a vowel sound into a word beginning with a vowel sound, a very small /y/ or /w/ is added between the words, connecting one word to the next. This allows both vowel sounds to occur individually, without stopping the airflow between words.

Deciding whether to link vowels together using /y/ or /w/ usually becomes intuitive to learners: linking with the wrong sound will feel and sound awkward.


very‿y‿old: My car is very‿old.

so‿w‿old: My car is so‿old.

Practice linking the following words with /y/:

1. he‿asked: At least he‿asked for permission.

2. day‿after: Rachel's interview is the day‿after tomorrow.

3. really‿appreciates: Mary really‿appreciates that you're staying late to help!

4. try‿again: Let's take a break, then try‿again after lunch.

5. buy‿energy‿efficient: They're going to buy‿energy‿efficient appliances.

Practice linking the following words with /w/:

1. know‿anyone: Do you know‿anyone that can help translate this?

2. value‿of: The value‿of their house fell drastically.

3. grow‿up: Kids grow‿up so quickly!

4. to‿ask: Karen wanted to‿ask if you'd come along.

5. go‿over/tomorrow‿afternoon: Let's go‿over the documents tomorrow‿afternoon.