How are 'fifth time' and 'English song' uttered in rapid connected speech by native speakers?


I believe I pronounce those consonant clusters in full, even in fast speech.

hat mango 932fifth time

The only difference I detect from a slow and careful pronunciation is that I might pass through the "th" extra quickly and de-aspirate the initial "t" in "time". There may be a very, very brief stop of the air flow in this transition.

hat mango 932English song

The tongue doesn't have to move as far in this transition, so it tends to be easier to execute. For a very brief moment you hear the "noise" of all the theoretically possible consonants between "sh" and "s" as you move your tongue from one to the other. There is no stopping of the air flow at all in making this transition.


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These two phrases are difficult to pronounce and cannot be utter rapidly. In pronouncing both, you'd have to slow down your speech temporarily and clearly pronounce each of the two words.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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