What is an American accent? Is it possible to learn it? If yes, how? This article will answer these questions.
What is an American accent?
General American is a major accent of American English. It’s used in the United States and Canada. It’s one of the most widely recognized English accents, because of globally recognized American movies, music and mass media. General American differs a lot from British English or Australian English.
You can easily recognize someone speaking an American accent if he or she says “d” instead of “t” if “t” is between two vowels (like “better”, “water”, “computer”). It’s one of the most popular rules of American pronunciation.
Having an accent, like many other things, is a skill. And if something is a skill, you can learn it.
Now, what are the key components of an accent?
1. Intonation and rhythm
Intonation is a very important part of every accent. In American English, there are words called content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) and words called structure words (articles, conjunctions, pronouns, prepositions). The first ones are stressed while the second ones usually aren’t. You should also learn how to intonate each word. When it comes to the rhythm, American English flows like a stream. It’s because many words are connected together, which leads us to the next point…
2. Connecting words together
If you want to sound like a native American speaker, you should learn how to connect words together. You can easily do it by paying attention to native speakers and imitating them. However, don’t speak too fast. It’s connecting words, not talking fast!
3. Pronunciation rules
It’s very important to learn how to pronounce each consonant, vowel and diphthong. American English isn’t easy when it comes to pronunciation rules (there are many exceptions) but if you spend some time studying it, you should eventually master it.
That’s it – an American accent! These three things are the most important components of American English.