Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Quechua
      • Home Country:
      • Qatar
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 172
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    Hi All,

    I am not a native english speaker, I always confuse the pronunciation of "Can" and "Can't" in American English Pronunication, as I know when stressing the "Can", the sound would be similar to "Can't", in fast speech "t" in "can't" will be dropped, so it is very hard to understand people are saying "Can" or "Can't", I'll analyse the sentence and guess the meaning and get the meaning is "Can" or "Can't", I was wondering if native speakers never have this confusion?

    EngFan

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 4,956
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    No, we never do. They have different intonation, and more importantly different decay rates at the end of the syllable. Can't decays (is stopped) very rapidly, whereas can decays (stops) smoothly and gradually.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 18,128
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    I can't agree.

    It's not at all uncommon to have to interrupt someone to say "I'm sorry, did you say 'can' or 'can't'?"

    I can tell/I can't tell -- it can be very hard to distinguish them, especially when people speak quickly or indistinctly.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 4,956
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    If that was true, we'd be using some other formulation, some other pair of antonyms. But we don't need them, so the difference is well beyond the minimum threshold of perception.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Quechua
      • Home Country:
      • Qatar
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 172
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    Thank you for the replies, but it's kind of hard to understand your text explanation, do you have any video from youtube or somewhere to teach me how to distinguish "can" and "can't in American English? Thanks.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 113
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    Quote Originally Posted by EngFan View Post
    Hi All,

    I am not a native english speaker, I always confuse the pronunciation of "Can" and "Can't" in American English Pronunication, as I know when stressing the "Can", the sound would be similar to "Can't", in fast speech "t" in "can't" will be dropped, so it is very hard to understand people are saying "Can" or "Can't", I'll analyse the sentence and guess the meaning and get the meaning is "Can" or "Can't", I was wondering if native speakers never have this confusion?

    EngFan
    Well, I've no problem distinguishing those two pronunciation though I'm not a native speaker. I think you should watch more American programmes.
    I've been watching sitcom like Victorious, Icarly, andHannah Montana and other tv show since the beginning of the year. I think you should be able to find out the difference between these two sounds after watching numerous american tv programmes. By the way, Do you have the difficulty pronouncing those two words in American English? Before you can hear the difference, you should learn how to pronounce the word Can or Can't differently.So you might be able to differentiate which is which. Here's a video link. it's about CAN and CAN'T YouTube - ‪can / can't‬‏
    Please always use Youtube. You get many videos related to your question there. I hope this helps!

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 139
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Native Speakers never confuse "Can" and Can't"???

    I think Rachel's English video about this issue is pretty good

    Can Vs. Can't | Rachel's English

    Though can-can't might usually have a different vowel or vowel length /kɛən/-/keənt̚/ or /keən/-/kɪənt̚/, it can be hard to differentiate them at times.
    Last edited by thatone; 24-May-2011 at 06:21.

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] How do you pronounce "Cotton", "Button", "Britain", "Manhattan"...
    By Williamyh in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2009, 08:36
  2. Is "kaftan" a frequent word for native speakers?
    By thedaffodils in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2008, 11:57
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  4. confusing words "expressed" or "express" and "named" or"names"
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 19:33
  5. confuse about "past tense"
    By endeavor6636 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Jul-2006, 08:42

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •