Linking Vowel to Vowel

When one word ends with a vowel sound and the next word begins with a vowel sound, we link the words with a sort of Y or W sound. It depends on the shape of our mouth at the end of the first word.

Lips wide

o o
|

When the first word ends in an a, e, i vowel sound [ eɪ / i: / aɪ ], our lips are wide. Then we insert a Y sound at the beginning of the next word:

we write first
word
ends
with
we say
pay all /eɪ/ payyall
the end /i:/ theyend
lie on /aɪ/ lieyon
write They all buy at the arcade.
say theyyall buyyat theyarcade

Here are some more examples of word pairs that are linked with Y.

Lips round

o o
|
o

When the first word ends in an o, u vowel sound [ əʊ / u: ], our lips are round. Then we insert a W sound at the beginning of the next word:

we write first
word
ends
with
we say
go out /əʊ/ gowout
too often /u:/ toowoften
write You all go out too often.
say youwall gowout toowoften

Here are some more examples of word pairs that are linked with W.