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I usually pronounce "will you" as "/wɪ/ + /lju:/", but seems that people have some troubles understanding me (at least here in the UK). Is my pronunciation wrong? That's the way we usually make the linking sound between a consonant and a vowel. If so, what should be the proper pronunciation? Should this be as "/wɪl/ + /lju:/" (that's how google translator pronounces it, apparently)? Or there's no way to connect these words and I should say "/wɪl/ + /ju:/" ?

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  • Based only on what you wrote here I don't see the problem. It'd be easier to nudge you in the right direction if you upload the recording of yourself saying 'will you'.
    – Aduku
    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:18
  • When we're speaking English, we don't put breaks in between words. So /wɪ/ + /lju:/, /wɪl/ + /lju:/, /wɪl/ + /ju:/ all sound the same. You must be doing something to put breaks between words, and that's what's confusing people. Feb 28, 2019 at 3:23

3 Answers 3

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Before being able to respond, I would need to know whether or not you are a native English speaker and which region or country you come from. There are several regional variants in English which can to some extent be mutually unintelligible; for example, I am Scottish, from Glasgow, and once knew a man from the Newcastle area whose Geordie accent I found very difficult to understand.

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What is the pronunciation of “Will you” in fast/connected speech?

In standard American English, without a regional accent, it usually sounds like the regular word "will" (not wl, wll, wull, or well) attached to the regular word "you", so "willyou". I don't believe any sounds are dropped or omitted. Arguably, the ll sound is equally connected to both the first part and the second part of the word "willyou".

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  • The OP is using the capital letter I to represent the “short i” sound, as in the word “will”. It’s a transcription system called SAMPA
    – sumelic
    May 5, 2018 at 18:36
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The vowel sounds are heavily dependent on dialect, though the 'i' in will is usually a short one. The vowel in you might be a schwa, a short 'a', or a long 'u' or 'oo' sound.

What makes it fast/connected is what happens to the 'l' and consonant 'y' sounds. In my experience, it ends up like the 'lli' in million, which is, I believe, much like the ll that used to be considered a separate letter in Spanish - but only in Spanish-Spanish (e.g. Castilian), not Latin American Spanish.

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