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How to Speak Casual English: Reducing "To" Between Vowels

When Americans speak quickly and the T in "to" comes between vowel sounds, it can become a D sound. For instance in "go to work," the T in "to" is between two O's. Americans naturally reduce T to D between vowels, and the word "to" is so small and simple, we can reduce it a lot. This is very informal, casual speech--it's not necessary to speak this way. However, Americans will do this sometimes, and practicing the rule can help with your listening skills.

Also, when the previous word ends in N, the T in "to" can become a D. This is because the N, D and T inter-relate in American English. Review T sound rules.

Use the sentences below to practice reducing "to" to a light D sound. Use other reduced sound rules as needed. Review rules of casual speech.

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Written English     


Spoken English

Let's go to the store.
Let's go'd'the store.

I need to go to work.
I need t'go'd'work.

The baby will go to sleep soon.
The baby will go'd'sleep soon.

I didn't plan to go.
I didn't plan'd'go.

I don't know how to do that.
I dunno how'd'do that. *

She doesn't know how to fix the car.
She doesn'know how'd'fix the car.**

Let's figure out where to go.
Let's figure out where'd'go.

I don't know when to tell him the news.
I dunno when'd'tell'im the news.***

We are figuring out when to leave town.
We are figuring out when'd'leave town.

Do you know where to turn right?
Do you know where'd'turn right?

Please let me know when to come over.
Please lemme know when'd'come over.****


Practice: Use the word "to" and list 5 things that you plan to do today.

* "Don't know" reduces to "dunno" in casual speech.
** In "doesn't know" the T is silent in casual speech.
*** In this sentence, the H in "him" would usually be reduced. Review pronoun rules for casual speech.
**** "Let me" reduces to "lemme" in casual speech.

Get more practice with this conversation using the word "to."


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