Learn English with Movies – The Martian



In the US, summer is sun, sand, and blockbuster movies. And this summer, we're going to use those movies to learn English and study how to sound American. Every video this summer is going to be a study English with movies video. We’ll pull scenes from the summer's hottest movies as well as favorite movies from years past. It's amazing what we can discover by studying even a small bit of English dialogue. We’ll study how to understand movies, what makes Americans sound American, and of course, any interesting vocabulary, phrasal verbs, or idioms that come up in the scenes we study. I call this kind of exercise a Ben Franklin exercise. First, we'll watch the scene. Then, we'll do an in-depth analysis of what we hear together. This is going to be so much fun. Be sure to tell your friends and spread the word that all summer long, every Tuesday, we're studying English with movies here at Rachel's English. If you're new to my channel, click subscribe and don't forget the notification button. Let's get started. First, the scene. This is space. It does not cooperate. At some point, everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south, and you're going to say, ‘this is it, this is how I end.’ Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one, and then the next, and if you solve enough problems, you get to come home. Now, the analysis. This is space. A little three-word thought group. What are the stressed words there? This is space. This is space. This is space. The stress pattern is: da-DA-da. Stressed, unstressed, stressed. This is space. This is space. This is space. This is space. We have an ending S: this is– it links right into the next vowel, then we have a Z sound in ‘is’, and an S sound in ‘space’. What happens? Can you hear it? This is space. This is space. This is space. It's subtle. But what I would say is, you don't need to try to make the Z sound. This is space. This is space. I think you can just make the S. And I would say this is true of any time word ends in a Z, when that syllable is unstressed, and the next word begins in an S. Another common example of this would be 'has'. That S is actually a Z sound, and if I was linking that into the word 'space', she has space, she has space, has space, I would just make an S sound. S and Z are a pair, they go together because they have the same mouth position, and S is unvoiced, and that's considered strong. Z is voiced and that's considered a weaker sound, and so the stronger sound S takes over that Z, sort of cancels it out. So, try that. I think it will make it easier for you. This is space. To think of just making an IH vowel linking into the S rather than trying to make a Z and then an S. This is space. This is space. This is space. This is space. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. What do you hear as the most stressed words there? It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. I'm hearing 'not'. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does, it does, it does, it does. A stop T in 'it', these two words a little bit flatter: it does not–, compared to 'not' which is longer, and has that falling off in the voice. This part of the stress here is really the part to me that shows it's stressed. The voice has to go up in order to come down. But it's that downward pitch, that downward fall, this is not– not– that shows me, okay, this is stressed. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. Co-op– two o's, the first one makes the OH diphthong: Co–, then the AH as in father. Cooperate. Cooperate. And a stop T at the end. Actually, we have a stop T here. We have three stop T's. So for this first T and the second T, the T is a stop T because the next sound is a consonant. In this last T, the T is a stop T because it ends the thought, the thought group, the sentence. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. How would that sentence sound if I made all of those T's a true T? It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It sounds really different to me. It feels really different. It feels rushed. We don't take the time to release those true T's because it takes up time, and we don't need it. It makes it less smooth. There's a little stop in air, a little break and that shows us that it's a T. It does– that's different from: ih does, ih does– There, there's no stop but if I say: it does, it it it it it does, that little break, that little lift, that is the T. This can be confusing because a lot of people say: well, I don't hear that T. I get it. It's not released but there's a little break, and that, to us, is the T. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. At some point– Whoa! Different day, different outfit, important announcement. Did you know that with this video, I made a free audio lesson that you can download? In fact, I'm doing this for each one of the YouTube videos I'm making this summer. All 11 of the Learn English with Movies videos! So follow this link or find the link in the video description to get your free downloadable audio lesson. It's where you're going to train all of the things that you've learned about pronunciation in this video. Back to the lesson. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. It does not cooperate. At some point– Now here, we have another T followed by a consonant. Let's see how that's pronounced. At some point– At some point– At some point– At some point– at– at– it's not released, is it? At– at– at– at– It's also a stop T. That's because the next sound is the consonant S. At some point– at some point– at some point– What about this T? How's that pronounced? At some point– at some point– at some point– Also not released. At some point– point– if it was released, it would sound like this: point, at some point– but it's not, it's: at some point– point, point, a little bit of a nasally stop there. The sound before is the nasal consonant N. At some point. Point– what if the T was dropped? Then it would sound like this: at some poin– poin– It's not quite that: point, point, that abrupt stop. That is the T. And the word 'some' is the stressed word in this thought group. At some point. So let's look at this. We've studied three little thought groups so far. We've had five T's, and they're all Stop T's. None of them are true T's. When you stop and study the pronunciation of T's, you realize that there aren't even that many that are fully pronounced. Even though when you look up a word in the dictionary, it will probably show just the one symbol which is this symbol, and that's the symbol for the true T. So you really have to study how Americans actually pronounce the T in order to get a natural sounding T pronunciation yourself. At some point– at some point– At some point, everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Let's talk about our stress syllables there, our longest syllables with the up-down shape. What do you hear? Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. I'm hearing the first syllable: everything's going to go south on you. What does that mean? To go south, that's a direction, right? If you're looking at a map of the US, it's the downward direction. So when things go south, what we mean idiomatically is that they start doing very poorly. So when he says: everything is going to go south on you, that means at some point, when you're in space, things are going to go really wrong. Your equipment's going to fail, who knows? Something is going to go poorly. It's going to go south. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Let's look at the rest of the words besides our stressed syllables. What's happening here? Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything is going to go– Everything is going to go– Going to go– pronounced: gonna go. So we have a reduction here: going to– becomes gonna. Everything's gonna go south on you. And 'on you' unstressed, flatter in pitch, but no reductions. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south, and you're going to say 'this is it'– He repeats himself and this time, he's stressing EV even more. Everything's going to go south– South has less stress here because he's already talked about what will happen. Things will go poorly. But now, he's really stressing that everything will go poorly. So that EV syllable gets the most stress. Another gonna reduction. Going to, gonna, gonna, gonna, gonna. Practice that right now and can you do it without moving anything except your tongue? Gonna, gonna, gonna, gonna. I have my jaw dropped and I'm only using my tongue to say that. Everything's really relaxed. It's the G consonant, UH as in butter vowel, and schwa. Gonna, gonna, gonna, gonna. Do it without moving your lips at all. That will help you stay relaxed. It will help you get the right sounds. Everything's going to go south– Everything's going to go south– Everything's going to go south and you're going to say: this is it– And you're going to say: this is it– And you're going to say– And you're going to say– And you're going to say– And you're going to say– That's all said pretty quickly, isn't it? And is not fully pronounced, it's reduced, its just schwa N. And you're– and you're– and you're– The words 'you are' contracted, that's reduced, you're– you're– you're– and you're– and you're– Going to– That's reduced, gonna. So we have three gonna reductions already as he's talking about something in the hypothetical future. And you're gonna say– And you're gonna say– And you're gonna say: 'This is it.' And you're gonna say: 'This is it.' So 'say', I would, I would say isn't even stressed. It's maybe a tiny bit longer, but it's flat in pitch. He doesn't really get into more of that up-down shape until he gets into the quote: 'This is it.' And you're gonna say: 'This is it.' And you're gonna say: 'This is it.' And you're gonna say: 'This is it.' And you're gonna say: 'This is it.' And you're gonna say– And you're gonna say– And you're gonna say– Flat. This is it. There, we have the pitch variation. This is it. Stop T. This is it. So really after the stressed syllable here of EV, all of this is unstressed, is flatter in pitch, doesn't really have much of that up-down shape, not a whole lot of inflection, until we get to: this is it. This is it. This is it. This is it. This is how I end. This is how I end. What are the most stressed words there? This is how I end. This is how I end. This is how I end. This is how I end. I think 'how' and 'end' are a little bit longer, definitely end. This is, this is, this is. This and is, said more quickly. This is, this is, this is how. This is how. This is how I end. And then I also said quickly, unstressed, in a little valley of pitch here. Everything smoothly connected. Ending S linking into beginning IH. This is how, ending week Z sound linking into H. This is how– this is– is– I think you could even probably think of that as being a really weak S. How I– OW diphthong right into AI diphthong. How I– how I– how I end. And then the EH vowel, we have three vowel or diphthong sounds in a row. OW, AI, and EH. Ow-ai-eh, ow-ai-eh. How I end. All smoothly linked together, no gaps, no breaks, no restarts of the voice. This is how I end. This is how I end. This is how I end. Now, you can either accept that. Okay, so he does a little thought group here. He doesn't link it into the next part, that would make it one thought group, but he does go up and pitch. Accept that– And that shows me that he's not done with this thought. He's going to keep going. Now, what are our most stressed words there? Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. A little bit of stress on 'cept' and 'that' and stress on you. The other words, flatter, lower in pitch, all part of that same line. There are no skips or jumps, but they are lower in pitch. We have a 'can' reduction. Now you can– now you can– What about this word? How is it pronounced? Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. It's pronounced either with the stressed syllable, being the EE as in she vowel. I've heard some people say this is the American pronunciation, and the British pronunciation is: either. But I did a lot of research on Youglish, listening to all sorts of different people say this word and there was no consensus, both Americans and Brits say it both ways. Here he happens to use the EE vowel. Let's talk about our T's. Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. Now, you can either accept that. We have a stop T at the end. It's at the end of a thought. What about this T? This T comes between two consonants and it's totally dropped. We often do that with T's between two other consonants. Accept that. So we have the P, also a stop consonant, lips come together. Accept that. And then the voice goes right into the TH. He doesn't release the P with a puff of air first that would sound like this: accept that. Accept– But it's: accept that. Accept that. Accept that. Accept that. Or you can get to work. Okay what are the stress words in this next thought group? Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. 'You' and 'work', the most stressed, longer with that up-down shape. We have some reductions, the word 'or' becomes 'ur'. Or you, or you. What about 'can', is it another reduction? Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. Yes it is. Can, can, can. Or you can, or you can. 'Get' and 'to' these two words linked together with a single true T sound. Get to, get to, get to get to. And you're probably noticing I'm making that a schwa just like he did. Get to, get to. So it's not 'to'. Get to, get to, get to work. Get to work. Get to work. Get to work. Work, a tricky word. W consonant, then R vowel consonant. Don't try to make a vowel there. Just think of the R and hold it out. Wor, wor, work. He does a light release of the K at the end. The K is also a stop consonant and you're probably noticing that sometimes, we skip the release of a stop consonant. I've noticed with K, when it's at the end of a thought group, we do tend to do a light release. Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. Or you can get to work. That's all it is. That's all it is. What's the most stressed word there? That's all it is. That's all it is. That's all it is. I think it's 'all'. That's all it is. 'Is' is also stressed but everything's linked together really smoothly. The vowel in 'that's' is not reduced, it's the AH vowel, the TH, when I listen to it and I'm thinking of the TH, I think I hear it. When I'm listening to it and I am trying to see if it's dropped, then I think it's dropped, so it's subtle. Very fast, very weak, very subtle. That's all it is. You could definitely do it with no TH. That's all it is. But everything smoothly links together, ending TS into the vowel, ending L into the vowel, and a flap T linking these two words. T is a flap T when it comes between vowels. That's all it is. That's all it is. That's all it is. You just begin. You just begin. So there's a little break here. It stresses the word 'begin' by putting a little break. It's also maybe something he did as he was thinking of what to say. You just begin. The word 'you' it was stressed here, it was stressed here. But now, he actually reduces it. He doesn't say 'you', he says: ye, ye. You just begin. You just begin. You just begin. You just begin. And even though we have this break here, I still feel it all as one thing with the energy of the voice going up: you just begin, to the peak of stress, the stressed syllable, the second syllable of begin. You just begin. You just begin. You just begin. You just begin. T here, you could think of it either as a stop T or totally dropped. We do usually drop the T in a cluster when the next word begins the consonant, just like up here with 'accept that', there it came between two consonants. Same thing here, but because he did put a break, mm, okay you could think of that as a stop T. You just begin. You just begin. You just begin. You do the Math. You do the Math. What are my stressed words there? You do the Math. You do the Math. You do the Math. You do the Math. 'Do' and 'Math', two most stressed words there, and we have another 'you' reduction, it's not you, it's: ye. You do. You do the Math. You do the Math. You do the Math. You do the Math. I actually was a Math major in college, and I really liked Math, all growing up, it was my favorite subject, and it's this kind of thing. I loved the idea of using Math to solve life's problems. It's been a long time since I've really thought about Math, although I do use it every day when I'm making little calculations for the business. You do the Math. You do the Math. You do the Math. You solve one problem. You solve one problem. Okay, what's the most stressed word there? You solve one problem. You solve one problem. You solve one problem. One. 'Solve' has a little bit of length, 'pro' has a little bit of length, but the peak of pitch, the peak of stress here is definitely 'one'. You solve one problem. What about the word 'you'? Fully pronounced or reduced? You solve one problem. You solve one problem. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one. Definitely reduced: ye, ye. You solve one problem. You solve one problem. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. Now, next is more stressed here. Then you solve the next one. Another 'you' reduction. Then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. Then you, then you, then you, then you solve, then you solve the, then you solve the, then you solve the next one. Let's talk about this T. Okay, we have the letter X, that can be pronounced two different ways, in this particular case, it's the KS cluster. Then the word 'one' begins with the W consonant. So we have a lot of consonants in a row here, T comes between two consonants, it can be dropped, does he drop it? Then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. Yes, he does. Next one. The next one. So even though it's the most stressed word in that thought group, he still drops the T, he still reduces it, because it's just such a strong habit of American English to take out T's when possible, make them a flap T instead, make them a stop T instead, or drop it all together. Then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. Then you solve the next one. And then the next. And then the next. And then the next. And then the next. Now, here, I do hear it. Mmm what's up with that?
Well, the next word 'and' is reduced, and, so that's a schwa, that's a vowel, now the T doesn't come between two consonants. So I would fully pronounce it as part of that cluster. KST, next, and then the next, and the next. So the word 'and' reduced here as well. And then the, and then the, and then the, and then the. Can you do that? Those three words, unstressed, said quickly before we get to our stressed word, next. And then the, and then the, and then the, and then the next. And then the next. And then the next. And then the next, and if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems– and if you solve enough problems– Were you hearing those as the most stressed words there? And if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems– So we have three unstressed words in a row, and if you, how are those pronounced? And if you solve enough– And if you solve enough– And if you solve enough– And if you solve, and if you solve, and if you solve. Okay, I actually think: and if you, and if you, and if you, I think it's not reduced. I think it is the OO vowel, but it's said very quickly. And if you, and if you, and if you. And if you solve– Everything links together really smoothly, doesn't it? And if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems– Solve enough problems, problems, problems. Actually, the pitch goes up a little bit at the end, doesn't it? Because this thought continues. And if you solve enough problems, problems. And if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems– And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home. What about our final thought group? What are the stressed words here? You get to come home. You get to come home. You get to come home. You get to come home. Get, home. Most stressed. You, is this reduced? Or is it fully pronounced? You get to come home. You get to come home. You get to come home. It is reduced, ye instead of you. Ye, ye. You get, you get to, you get to. Again, just like before, get to, those linked together with a single true T and the vowel in 'to' is reduced to the schwa. Get to, get to. You get to, you get to come home. You get to come home. You get to come home. You get to come home. A lot to study with T pronunciations in this, isn't there? Let's listen to this whole monologue one more time. This is space. It does not cooperate. At some point, everything's going to go south on you. Everything's going to go south, and you're going to say, ‘this is it, this is how I end.’ Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the Math. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one, and then the next, and if you solve enough problems, you get to come home. We're going to be doing a lot more of this kind of analysis together. What movie scenes would you like to see analyzed like this? Let me know in the comments! And if you want to see all my Ben Franklin videos, click here. You'll also find the link in the video description. That's it and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

21 thoughts on “Learn English with Movies – The Martian”

  1. Thanks so much for your videos rachel. I’ve learning from you since 2015 and I would love to meet you in person. I’ll send you a big hug from Dominican Republic!

  2. Dear Rachel
    Thanks for this great video.
    I have 2 questions for you.
    1-Why do you call it BEN FRANKLIN exercise?
    2-Could you do me a favor and analyse a random conversation from the popular sitcom 'Friends' ? 🙂 Again Thanks from Iran.

  3. I love this kind of Ben Franklin's exercises. This really helps me improve my pronunciation and understand American movies. Thank you.

  4. It is better when you put the English subtitles and I would like that you put Spanish subtitled too.

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