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How to Speak Casual English: Using "Of" in a Conversation

The word "of" is interesting because it sounds like "uv." The F sound was probably reduced over time to the softer V sound. Always, when speaking "of," you can connect it to a word that begins with a vowel. For instance "I know of a good doctor" sounds like "I know uva good doctor."

If the next word does not start with a vowel and we're speaking very quickly or casually, we can also take out the "v" and just say "u." For example, "It's to the right of the store" can be spoken this way: "It's t' the right u'the store." Remember that when you reduce small words, let yourself stress important words more. In the last sentence, "right" and "store" are important. If the listener hears these words and understands the context or situation, the reduced words are understood. Reviewthe rules for casual speech.

Practice "of" with the conversation below.

Karen: I'd like to buy a pair of pants and maybe a pair of shoes and trouser socks for my job interview.

Saleswoman: Are you looking for a particular color?

Karen: I'm not thinking of one color, but I'd like something reusable like black or gray.

Saleswoman: And were you thinking of a particular dollar amount?

Karen: I wasn't thinking of anything particular. If the material is of good quality, I don't mind spending extra money.

Saleswoman: I think this pair of pants will be perfect for you. Maybe you should try them on. While you're in the dressing room, I'll look for a matching pair of shoes.

Karen: Thanks! These look great!

Saleswoman: I know of a tailor who has a shop nearby. If you get a few alterations, they will look even more professional.

Karen: Well, I'll think about it. Where's the shop?

Saleswoman: It's on the corner of 5th Ave and Broadway, only a five minute drive.

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