At its simplest, linking vowel sounds and continuous consonant sounds requires only blending from one sound into the next. Therefore, the linked words 'my seat' and 'mice eat' could both be transcribed as /mɑɪsit/. For the beginner English learner, that is enough to know. However, intermediate and advanced learners may want a more complete understanding.

Despite the identical broad transcription of 'my seat' and 'mice eat,' there are slight differences in the pronunciations of these linked words. To show the small, allophonic variations of the sound's pronunciation, we'll use narrow transcriptions (denoted by the [ ] symbols).

A continuous consonant sound at the beginning of a word is pronounced for slightly more time than the same continuous consonant sound at the end of a word. Therefore, the /s/ in the word 'seat' is pronounced for more time than the /s/ in the word 'mice.' The longer /s/ can is represented as [sː] in narrow transcription (using ː to denote the lengthened sound).

Because of the change in sound duration, a careful listener can perceive differences between 'my seat' and 'mice eat,' even when the words are fully linked.


my‿seat /mɑɪsit/ [mɑɪːsːit] (longer duration /s/)

mice‿eat /mɑɪsit/ [mɑɪsit] (shorter duration /s/)

Practice linking from a continuous consonant into a vowel sound:

1. an‿exception: Can't you make an‿exception?

2. because‿of: School was cancelled because‿of all the snow.

3. press‿enter: Type your password, then press‿enter.

4. fix‿it: Pam tried to fix‿it, but it was too late.

5. his‿uncle: His‿uncle is an opera singer.

Practice linking from a vowel sound into a continuous consonant:

1. issue‿with: There's never been an issue‿with it.

2. extra‿help: Thanks for all the extra‿help.

3. a‿look: Could you take a‿look at this?

4. busy‿man: Walter's a very busy‿man.

5. agree‿with/idea‿that: I agree‿with the idea‿that simpler is better.