Myself Essay 50 Words That Sound

Tagged With: Introductions, Most Popular, Real Life English

What should you say when you’re introducing yourself?  In this popular Rachel’s English video, learn the phrases Americans use, and how to pronounce them, in English conversation.

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Video Text:

In this American English pronunciation video, you’re going to come with me to the YouTube space in LA where I don’t know anyone. And we’re going to go over introducing yourself.

Introducing yourself to a crowd of people, or even just one person, can make anyone nervous. Doing it in a foreign language, even more so. So today we’re going to go over a few phrases that you might say when introducing yourself.

The first thing, of course, is saying your name.  Usually you’ll hear people say “I’m”, or “My name is”, or “My name’s”, contracting “name” and “is”.  Some non-native speakers don’t want to use contractions because they don’t think it’s clear enough, but we really do want to use the contraction “I’m”, and not “I am” because it can be much quicker, I’m, I’m, I’m, which puts the emphasis on the name, the most important part.  This will also help smooth out your speech.  I’m Rachel, uhhh. All connected.  Here are some people introducing themselves using “I’m”.

>> Hi. I’m Beth Aweau.
>> Hey guys. I’m Olga Kay.
>> I’m Staci Perry.
>> Um, hey guys. I’m Todd Bieber.
>> Hi everyone. I’m Veronica Hill.
>> Hey, I’m Rachel.
>> Hi, I’m Hilah.
>> Hi, I’m Rachel.
>> Hi, I’m Christopher.
>> I’m Bryan.

Here’s an example of someone saying “my nameis,” without contracting “name” and “is”.

>> Hi everyone. My name is Hetal Jannu.

Notice that the stress of the sentence is still making her name the most important part. My name is Hetal. My name is Rachel.  da-Da-da-DA-da.  It’s longer, louder, and higher in pitch than the unstressed syllables.  My name is Rachel, Ra-, My name is Rachel. That’s how we know it’s the most important part.  So in the phrase “my name is”, “my” and “is” are both unstressed, and so they need to be really unimportant, really quick, my [3x], is [3x]. My name is, my name is. If every syllable is the same length, the same volume, the same pitch, then we loose the character of American English, which is based on stressed vs. unstressed syllables.

We can also say “My name’s Rachel”, with the contraction. The rhythm there is da-DA-DA-da. “Name” is stressed because it’s a noun. But my actual name, Rachel, will be more stressed. And I should say, it’s only the stressed syllable, Ra-, of my name that’s going to be longer and higher in pitch.  The unstressed syllable, -chel, is just like any other unstressed syllable, even though it’s in a stressed word.

>> My name’s Aaron.
>> Uh, what’s up guys. My name’s Todd.
>> Hi, my name’s Sara.

Often what comes next in an introduction is saying where you’re from.  This can either be a job, if you’re in a work context, or a place, your hometown or where you’re currently living.  “From”.  That’s never going to be as important as the name of the place you’re from.  It’s a function word, so we want it to be unstressed, shorter than the stressed syllables in the sentence, from, from.  Listen to these people introducing the places they’re from.  They’re using the contraction “I’m” and “from” and then the name.  These two words are quicker and less important:  I’m from [3x].  I’m from Florida.  I’m from New York.

>> I’m from Kapolei, Hawaii.
>> …from Seattle originally.
>> I’m from New York. You’re from Texas?
>> You’re from, where, again?
>> I’m from Delaware.

Here’s one last example of someone saying “I’m from”, but he’s giving his business, the company he works for, not a city.

>> I’m from Upright Citizens’ Brigade, uh, channel: UCBcomedy.

One fun moment I noticed is when Todd introduced himself and Bryan said “Ts’up Todd?”  Tsup, tsup.

>> Nice to meet you.
>> Tsup, Todd? [4x]

Tsup.  What is that word?  That’s actually “what’s up?”  I made a video a while ago on “tsup”:  how we’ll sometimes reduce “what’s”, “it’s”, “that’s”, or “let’s” to simply “ts”. Tsup?  Now I know you’re probably not hearing the P, but maybe you do notice my lips are going into the position for it.  Tsup.  P is a stop consonant.  That means it’s made up of two parts.  The stop, where the lips come together, tsup, and the release, where the lips part.  tsup.  Sometimes native speakers leave out the release:  tsup? Stop.  Nope.  You can too, just make sure you don’t leave out the stop part of the consonant, where the lips come together and the air is stopped.  Tsup?

And finally, a phrase we often exchange when
making an introduction is “nice to meet you”.

>> Nice to meet you.
>> Nice to meet you, too.
>> Well, it was good to meet you, Hilah.
>> Nice to meet you, too.
>> Nice to meet you.
>> Nice to meet you.

Most people say ‘nice to meet you’, and probably you noticed that once I said “it’s good to meet you”.  “Nice”, or “good”, or whatever adjective you’re using, and “meet” should be the two stressed syllables of that sentence.  That will contrast nicely with “to”, which will have a schwa instead of the OO as in BOO vowel, to, to, to.  “You”, since it’s at the end of a sentence, will probably sound something like:  you, you, you.  Low in pitch, quick, flat, and with a lot of the energy of the voice taken out.  You, you, nice to meet you.

We heard two different ways of pronouncing the T in “meet”.  One is a stop T, because the next word begins with a consonant sound.  Meet you, meet you.  I cut off the airflow in my throat to stop the sound, to signify the T.  I don’t actually bring my tongue into position for the T, I just stop the air here.  Meet you.  The other way of making the T is to make it a CH sound.  This can happen to an ending T if the next word is “you”, meet you, meet you.  So first, let’s hear it again with the stop.

>> Nice to meet you. [4x]

And now with the CH sound.

>> Nice to meet you. [4x]

Meet you, meet you.  Both are ok.

In closing, here is one more introduction conversation I had with a great guy I met in LA named Zachary.

>> Hi.
>> Oh, hey.
>> I’m Rachel.
>> I’m Zach.
>> Hi Zach, nice to meet you.
>> Nice to meet you.
>> So, we’re here at the YouTube Space. So you must be a YouTuber.
>> Yep. Make videos for kids.
>> Yeah? What’s your channel?
>> Pancake Manor.
>> Oh wow.
>> What’s yours?
>> Mine’s Rachel’s English.
>> Oo.
>> So I teach English on my channel.
>> Wow. You must have a lot of subscribers.
>> I do, I do. But actually, let’s talk about that word. It’s subscribers, with an R.
>> Oh. Subscribers.
>> Subscrrrr-, hold out the R.
>> Subscrr, rr, -scribers.
>> Yeah, that’s it!
>> Subscribers.
>> Perfect.
>> Yeah.
>> I’m going to tell my users about your channel, so they can go see you.
>> Cool, thank you.
>> Yeah. It was great to meet you.
>> Nice to meet you.
>> Ok, have a great day.
>> You too.
>> Alright, take care!
>> Bye! Subscribers. Yeah.

Thanks so much to all the wonderful people who were in this video.  To learn more about them and their YouTube channels, follow the links in the video or in the video description.

Practice your English. Make a video introducing yourself, and post it as a video response to this video on YouTube. Or, just introduce yourself in the comments. I can’t wait to meet you.

That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.


Filed Under: Conversation and Speech Studies, Most Popular, VideosTagged With: Introductions, Most Popular, Real Life English

Getting into an elite college has never been more cutthroat. Last year, Harvard’s admissions rate dipped to a record low, with only 5.3% of applicants getting an acceptance letter. Stanford’s rate was even lower, at 5.05%.

These days, it takes more than impressive grades, a full roster of extracurriculars, and a deep commitment to community service to get into a well-ranked school. Experts say that a stellar essay is the linchpin that will win the admissions department over. But what is less well known is that different colleges favor particular topics and even specific words used in essays.

This is a key finding from AdmitSee, a startup that invites verified college students to share their application materials with potential applicants. High school students can pay to access AdmitSee’s repository of successful college essays, while college students who share their materials receive a small payment every time someone accesses their data. “The biggest differentiator for our site is that college students who share their information are compensated for their time,” Stephanie Shyu, cofounder of AdmitSee, tells Fast Company. “This allows them to monetize materials that they have sitting around. They can upload their file and when they check back in a few months later, they might have made several hundred dollars.”

Shyu says that this model has allowed AdmitSee to collect a lot of data very rapidly. The company is only a year old and just landed $1.5 million in seed funding from investors such and The Social + Capital Partnership. But in this short time, AdmitSee has already gathered 15,000 college essays in their system. Many are from people who got into well-ranked colleges, since they targeted these students first. The vast majority of these essays come from current college students who were admitted within the last two or three years.

AdmitSee has a team that analyzes all of these materials, gathering both qualitative and quantitative findings. And they’ve found some juicy insights about what different elite colleges are looking for in essays. One of the most striking differences was between successful Harvard and Stanford essays. (AdmitSee had 539 essays from Stanford and 393 from Harvard at the time of this interview, but more trickle in every day.) High-achieving high schoolers frequently apply to both schools—often with the very same essay—but there are stark differences between what their respective admissions departments seem to want.

What Do You Call Your Parents?

The terms “father” and “mother” appeared more frequently in successful Harvard essays, while the term “mom” and “dad” appeared more frequently in successful Stanford essays.

Harvard Likes Downer Essays

AdmitSee found that negative words tended to show up more on essays accepted to Harvard than essays accepted to Stanford. For example, Shyu says that “cancer,” “difficult,” “hard,” and “tough” appeared more frequently on Harvard essays, while “happy,” “passion,” “better,” and “improve” appeared more frequently in Stanford essays.

This also had to do with the content of the essays. At Harvard, admitted students tended to write about challenges they had overcome in their life or academic career, while Stanford tended to prefer creative personal stories, or essays about family background or issues that the student cares about. “Extrapolating from this qualitative data, it seems like Stanford is more interested in the student’s personality, while Harvard appears to be more interested in the student’s track record of accomplishment,” Shyu says.

With further linguistic analysis, AdmitSee found that the most common words on Harvard essays were “experience,” “society,” “world,” “success,” “opportunity.” At Stanford, they were “research,” “community,” “knowledge,” “future” and “skill.”

What the Other Ivies Care About

It turns out, Brown favors essays about volunteer and public interest work, while these topics rank low among successful Yale essays. In addition to Harvard, successful Princeton essays often tackle experiences with failure. Meanwhile, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania tend to accept students who write about their career aspirations. Essays about diversity—race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation—tend to be more popular at Stanford, Yale, and Brown.

Based on the AdmitSee’s data, Dartmouth and Columbia don’t appear to have strong biases toward particular essay topics. This means that essays on many subjects were seen favorably by the admissions departments at those schools. However, Shyu says that writing about a moment that changed the student’s life showed up frequently in essays of successful applicants to those schools.

Risk-Taking Pays Off

One general insight is that students who take risks with the content and the structure of their college essays tend to be more successful across the board. One student who was admitted to several top colleges wrote about his father’s addiction to pornography and another wrote about a grandparent who was incarcerated, forcing her mother to get food stamps illegally. Weird formats also tend to do well. One successful student wrote an essay tracking how his credit card was stolen, making each point of the credit card’s journey a separate section on the essay and analyzing what each transaction meant. Another’s essay was a list of her favorite books and focused on where each book was purchased.

“One of the big questions our users have is whether they should take a risk with their essay, writing about something that reveals very intimate details about themselves or that takes an unconventional format,” Shyu says. “What we’re finding is that successful essays are not ones that talk about an accomplishment or regurgitate that student’s résumé . The most compelling essays are those that touch on surprising personal topics.”

Of course, one caveat here is that taking a risk only makes sense if the essay is well-executed. Shyu says that the content and structure of the story must make a larger point about the applicant, otherwise it does not serve a purpose. And it goes without saying that the essay must be well-written, with careful attention paid to flow and style.

Shyu says that there are two major takeaways that can be taken from the company’s data. The first is that it is very valuable for applicants to tailor their essays for different schools, rather than perfecting one essay and using it to apply to every single school. The second is that these essays can offer insight into the culture of the school. “The essays of admitted students are also a reflection of the community at these institutions,” Shyu says. “It can provide insight into whether or not the school is a good fit for that student.”

A final tip? If you want to go to Harvard and write about your parents, make sure to address them as “mother” and “father.”

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