How do I distinguish linking of two or more individual words ?

For example : "Thank you", does not make sense to me as two words by English sound.

My first language is Chinese.

My purpose is find a way to query English sound as it is transcribed to English text,because I can't understood which words is in the English sound.

For example:in English text when I read a strange word I can query it in dictionary,What is way to handle similar problem in English sound?

  • Regarding "does not make sense to me as two words by English sound", could you elaborate further? "thank you" being a set phrase would not care how many words it is, so a better example might be helpful. Also you should add why this is important to you. Are you transcribing spoken to written?
    – user3169
    Jul 24, 2018 at 18:33
  • "Are you transcribing spoken to written?" Yes ,see my update.@user3169
    – illiterate
    Jul 24, 2018 at 18:54
  • I'm not sure I understand your question. If it doesn't seem to you that the written thank you represents what has been spoken, what alternative makes more sense? It may sound like a single word (thankyou) but that word doesn't exist. If you want to know the words that are being spoken, and can't find what it sounds like, then text to speech applications might help. Or, as in this case, try looking up each syllable. Don't Chinese words, when spoken quickly, have the same problem for anybody who doesn't already know the particular words? Jul 25, 2018 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


Elision is common in spoken languages. It is the dropping of syllables or slurring together of sounds. This makes it hard to understand speech, though one may have an excellent grasp of the written language and of formal speech.

In some cases, in English, it's acknowledged with the use of an apostrophe, e.g. "do not" becomes "don't". In other cases, it may be considered poor pronunciation, though common. Some examples, spelled phonetically:

give me -> gimme

want to -> wanna

There are online resources to help with connected speech, or to study, or to hear, but it requires practice to understand spoken English.

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