Welcome to Daily Tips on Learning English. Today’s tip is on the use of pauses in English speech.
Although written English has spaces between every word, spoken English doesn’t have pauses between each word, rather words are linked together. However, people do not normally speak without pausing at all. We do pause in speech. While in written English, there are periods, commas, semicolons and question marks. But we also pause in long sentences without punctuation marks. Let’s look at some examples. My mother listens to the radio in the evening. This sentence can be said without pausing, because it isn’t very long. But if I were to pause, I would say, “My mother/ listens to the radio/ in the evening.” Why? Because pauses come between thought groups----groups of words that express one thought.
For example, “in the evening” is a thought group. Let’s make the sentence longer. My mother listens to the radio in the evening, plays tennis in the afternoon, and cleans the house in the morning. Now it is necessary to pause because the sentence is very long. Pauses come between thought groups, and help the listeners organize the information they hear. Listen to sentence again. My mother listens to the radio in the evening, plays tennis in the afternoon, and cleans the house in the morning. If you pause in the wrong places, listeners will have a harder time organizing the information. Listen to the sentence read again with improper pausing. My mother listens to the radio in/ the evening, plays tennis in /the afternoon, and cleans the/ house in the morning. Now the sentence is almost impossible to understand, so remember to pause between thought groups, to help your listeners easily organize what they hear.
This has been today's tip on learning English. Tune in tomorrow for another tip on learning English.