I know there are rules for pronunciation contraction and I learned some of those, I still not sure about this one

"What did he say?"

Is it pronounced /wɒ ti di seɪ/ for contraction in everyday quick speak?

  • Yes, it sounds something like this: What didi say? The "he" is reduced to a single "e" sound. Mar 6 '20 at 1:56
  • @MichaelRybkin Thank you. Would you please introduce some relevant rules (terms, names or links, etc) for this kind of situations?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 6 '20 at 2:03
  • 1
    I'm not aware of any kinds of rules for that. However, there are entire YouTube channels dedicated specifically to this aspect of English, that is, pronunciation. Mar 6 '20 at 2:12
  • In rapid colloquial speech you may hear it further reduced to /wɒ di seɪ/.
    – rjpond
    Jan 3 '21 at 1:14

In colloquial speech, people tend to drop certain consonants in order to make their speech flow better and sound more natural.

/h/ is highly prone to elision especially in a handful of grammatical words such as he, his, him, her etc. The pronoun it used to be hit back in Old & Middle English, but the initial h got elided.

In your sentence, the /h/ of he can be elided in colloquial or fast speech. I myself drop the h's most of the time, so I might pronounce it without the h: [wɒʔdɪdiseɪ̯]

Most people extend it to other words too: such as house, hotel, home etc.

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