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  1. "You want to see my muscles?"
  2. "You love dogs."
  3. "You wanna see my moves?"
  4. "You like him."
  5. "You come with me." etc.

In this kind of sentences where "you" is at the beginning of the sentence, can I make a short, quick /u/ sound instead of the long /uː/ sound when I pronounce the "you"s? Can I pronounce "you" either as /juː/or /ju/ interchangeably when it's at the beginning of any sentence? I feel like if the word that comes after "you" starts with a vowel, the /u/ sound should be pronounced in the long way, but in the other cases it can be pronounced either the long or the short way.

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  • It's pronounced the same everywhere. However, it can be pronounced as Andrew has said but it makes no difference where in the sentence it is.
    – Lambie
    Feb 18, 2018 at 19:19

1 Answer 1

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Some speakers will actually sound "you" more like "ya" when speaking quickly

Hey, whaddaya want? Can't you see I'm busy?

So I told him, ya got the wrong guy officer. I was tending to my sick grandmother last night and couldn't have been robbing some store.

This is dialect and probably shouldn't be imitated too closely (unless you want to sound like you're from New York / New Jersey), but otherwise you are correct and when "you" is part of a phrase the vowel is normally short, and often combined with the following word

I can't talk to y'now. I'm late for a date.

Pronouncing "you" with a "j" sound is, again, dialect, common among people who also speak Spanish, where the "y" sound is pronounced like the English "j". Again, it's not something you should imitate unless you are trying to sound like someone who speaks that dialect.

There is an in-between sound that is more like "choo", particularly when "you" comes after a word that ends in "t", like "what".

Whatchoo want? Can't you see I'm busy?

Most speakers use this pronunciation to one degree or another, unless they are intentionally careful with their diction.

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  • Thanks, so I can make either a short /u/ sound or a long /u/ sound in the examples I gave, right? Feb 18, 2018 at 18:46
  • Yes, although if you do a long /u/ sound it might sound as if you are emphasizing the word for some reason, "What do you want?"
    – Andrew
    Feb 18, 2018 at 18:59
  • Second, forth and the fifth sentences I gave sound like better to me though when I make a longer /u/ sound (especially the 5th one). Feb 18, 2018 at 19:05
  • By the way, by "short /u/ sound", I mean like the short /u/ sound in "I am into basketball". You got what I mean, right? Feb 18, 2018 at 19:20

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