Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Practicing Linking: The Mairzy Doats Song

Listening to native speakers using English can be difficult.  Sometimes it's because of vocabulary, idioms, or speed, but often, it's because of two things: linking and reductions.

Linking happens when two words or syllables are connected by a consonant.  Sometimes, this makes the two words sound like one.

Reduction is when a native speaker reduces (make smaller/shorter/simpler) words, especially when they are not emphasized (ex. structure words like "be" or "I").

Mairzy Doats

This game is based on a song that my mother used to sing to me when I was a child.  The linking in this song is so intense, I thought 6 words in the song were just one word.  Can you figure out what the words are in this song?

Watch this video.  Can you hear the words?  What are the lyrics to this song?

Now review the following vocabulary and listen to the song again.

female horse

a grain

female deer

baby sheep


baby goat

Can you guess the lyrics of the song now?
Check your work below..

Mares eat oats and does eat oats

And little lambs eat ivy.
A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?

(For more listening practice, visit or

How did you do?  Could you understand the words?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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