In today’s video, Sarah’s going talk about reductions in English and why they are so important for you to learn practice and use in spoken English.
As you might know, all languages use reduction in the spoken form. You can kind of think of it as being lazy. We’re lazy with our speaking and so we reduce the syllables and the sounds to just simplify them. A lot of times, we blend them together and this is often why you have problems understanding when you’re listening to the news, TED Talks, YouTube videos – whatever you’re listening to. A lot of times, it’s because you can’t really understand the reduction well. In this video, Sarah’s going to be talking about three words that we commonly reduce in English – shoulda woulda coulda. Shoulda, woulda, coulda are all reductions of should have, would have, and could have. Now, if you’re reading a book, if you’re reading an email, if you’re reading anything, you’re going to see this written like this! Should have, would have, could have. However, in speaking and everyday conversation – when you’re talking to someone, you’re gonna hear them say shoulda, woulda, coulda.
For example: I should have gone to the grocery store after work today.
I shoulda gone to the grocery store after work today.
Notice that there’s two reductions in this sentence – SHOULDA and TO THE. A lot of times prepostions, articles,… those are function words and they’re not as important, so with those kinds of words, we often reduce them – make them shorter – blend them together.
I would have picked you up from the airport if you would have given me a call.
I WOULD’VE picked you up from the airport if you WOULD’VE given me a call.
Again, two reductions in this sentence – same word, WOULD’VE – Would have.
I coulda come in to work early yesterday if you would’ve given me a call.
I COULDA come in to work early yesterday if you WOULD’VE given me a call.
Again, we have two reductions here: COULDA and WOULD’VE.
Now, really COULDA means “could have” and WOULD’VE means “would have”. Shoulda coulda woulda is also a common idiom that we use. If someone says, “upp, shoulda woulda coulda”, it means it would have been possible, it would have been great, but that just didn’t happen. Thank of a situation where someone says, “Oh, we should have done this…” or “I wish we could have done this…”
You just wish something’s different than how it actually turned out, you’d say, “Uup shoulda woulda coulda”
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