Sunday, 29 April 2007

AAE 50: "she's d one"

Hello Matt,

I have two questions about songs lyrics. The first one - the pronunciation of Robbie Williams' "She's the one". I hear short version of definite article there (like before consonant). I would expect "dí one" but I hear "d one". Is it an exception or my bad hearing?

The second question is about song by Support Lesbiens. They sing "It was lies". Is it correct? Why it is not "Its were lies"?

Thank you in advance,


Hi Lada,

No I don't think it is your bad hearing. English pronunciation is very varied, and it is possible to pronounce 'the one' as 'di one' or 'd one'.

Regarding your second question it depends on what the subject of the sentence is (i.e what 'it' is referring to); not the object of the sentence (i.e. 'lies').

The thing he said; it was lies
(ie. what he said was full of lies)
All the things he said; they were lies
Hope this helps


Jana said...

The correct pronunciation is /D WAN/ because the article IS before a consonant!
It is a written vowel (O) but pronounced as a consonant (W). It is not the spelling, it is the pronunciation that decides whether you use /DI/ or /D/ (sorry for the wrong phonetic symbols).
However, /DI WAN/ can be correct, too (if you want to stress the article).

Matt Ford said...

Thanks very much for your help Jana