This American English reduction is often used in causal
speech but you need to listen closely as the difference
between "frunna" and "front of" is very subtle.
Remember the following:
Reductions are reduced forms of
Reductions, such as frunna are
not real words in English.
You need to use reductions in
order to sound more natural.
You need to know reductions in
order to understand conversations between native
Reductions are used extensively
in American TV, movies, music, literature, and in
conversations among native English speakers.
Reductions In Music and TV
Fun Easy English - Reductions
This is the Fun Easy English reductions introduction video.
I really tried to find a good video for this REDUCTION.
If you know a good song, TV commercial, or movie clip
with this reduction, please post the link in the
comments section at the bottom of this page.
The following classroom lessons are great for
students who want additional listening
and reading practice. Please post a comment at the
bottom of this page in the
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Travel America -
Level. Do you love America and American
English? Learn before you travel. Facts and other
cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. Great
English reading practice.
America - West Virginia
Learn some interesting facts and read interesting
stories about West Virginia.
In 1861, Virginians in the northwestern part of the
state defied Virginia's secession from the United
States. The region chose to remain in the Union and
form a new state. West Virginia was admitted into
the Union in 1863, after conditions requiring the
gradual emancipation of slaves had been met. The
state motto is "Mountaineers are always free," and
West Virginia lives up to its nickname of the
"Mountain State." With an average altitude of 1,500
feet above sea level, it's the highest of any state
east of the Mississippi River. For a long time, West
Virginia was a leading producer of coal in North
America, but many people left to pursue better
employment opportunities. That trend has turned
around, and now the state's economy is in a more
stable condition. The capital is Charleston, and the
state flower is the big rhododendron.
The West Virginia flag features the state motto "Montani
Semper Liberi" (Latin for "Mountaineers Are Always Free"), a
wreath of Rhododendron (the state flower), and the state
coat-of-arms (also on the state seal).
The official description for the state flag of West
Virginia: "The proportions of the flag of the State of West
Virginia shall be the same as those of the United States
ensign; the field shall be pure white, upon the center of
which shall be emblazoned in proper colors, the coat-of arms
of the State of West Virginia upon which appears the date of
the admission of the State into the Union, also with the
motto, 'Montani Semper Liberi' (Mountaineers Are Always
Free). Above the coat-of-arms of the State of West Virginia
there shall be a ribbon lettered, 'State of West Virginia,'
and arranged appropriately around the lower part of the
coat-of-arms of the State of West Virginia a wreath of
Rhododendron maximum in proper colors. The field of pure
white shall be bordered by a strip of blue on four sides.
The flag of the State of West Virginia when used for parade
purposes shall be trimmed with gold colored fringe on three
sides and when used on ceremonial occasions with the United
States ensign, shall be trimmed and mounted in similar
fashion to the United States flag as regards fringe, cord,
tassels, and mounting."
What is boccie? Boccie, or bocce (pronounced "bah-chee")
is an Italian bowling game usually played outside.
Boccie is played on a court, also called a campo,
that is about 75 feet long by 8 feet wide, enclosed
with raised sides. Players can play individually or
on teams. Each player or team rolls four bocce balls
(4 to 5 inches in diameter), toward a smaller ball,
called the boccino, or pallino. The object is to
roll the ball closer to the pallino than an
opponent's ball. When all balls have been played, it
is the end of the frame. A team is awarded one point
for every ball that is closer to the pallino than
the nearest opposing ball. A team may score up to
four points per frame.
Boccie was popular with many of the thousands of
Italian immigrants who came to America in the early
1900s. Coal mining companies recruited many Italians
to work in the deep mines of West Virginia; others
found work on railroads and farms. The West Virginia
Heritage Festival was founded to preserve and
present Italian cultural traditions for new
generations. This festival is held in Clarksburg,
West Virginia, on Labor Day weekend. The festival
includes authentic Italian dancers, Italian
religious observances, strolling minstrels, and, of
course, a bocce tournament.
The Vandalia Gathering
Can you flat-foot?
Flat-footing is a traditional dance in which
dancers' feet are kept flat as they make some very
fancy moves. There are many styles of flat-foot
dance, and visitors can see some of them at the
Vandalia Gathering in Charleston, West Virginia,
every Memorial Day weekend. The outdoor flat-footing
stage is a highlight, and spectators are encouraged
to jump in and kick up their heels.
Since 1976, the Vandalia Gathering has brought
together dancers, musicians, storytellers, and
craftspeople from small communities and isolated
valleys to showcase their talents.
One of these performers is Melvin Wine, a fiddler
and recipient in 1981 of the first Vandalia Award,
West Virginia's highest folklore honor. He was born
in 1909 in Braxton County, West Virginia. He learned
many of his old fiddle tunes from his great-uncle
and father, who had learned from his grandfather.
The Vandalia Gathering is the place to be if you
want to do a little dance, listen to a little music
or hear a good story.
Winter Festival of Waters
George Washington -- surveyor, farmer, hero of the
Revolutionary War, first president of the United
States, and founder of the country's first spa.
That's right -- a spa!
In 1748, when George Washington was a young
surveyor, he visited warm springs on the frontier.
The area was already well known to the Indians, who
traveled from as far away as Canada and the
Carolinas to bathe in the warm water bubbling up
from the mountain springs. In 1776, Washington and
some friends established the town of Bath, West
Virginia, for the purpose of entertaining those who
came to bathe.
Although the town's official name is still Bath,
since the early 19th century it has been known as
Berkeley Springs. It is still an oasis for those in
search of a spa or a mineral spring. Every winter
the town hosts a three-month celebration of the
healing power of water. One of the events is the
Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting
Competition. Water from around the world is tasted
at this competition, including tap water from more
than 50 municipal facilities.
Other events include George Washington's Bathtub
Celebration. There are readings from George
Washington's diaries about his visits to Bath.
People are taken along Washington's favorite
walkways around town, to the bathtub monument in the
state park and to the inn where Washington slept. So
head to Berkeley Springs and see the place where
George Washington bathed.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
The small town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia,
played a significant role in United States history,
even before the state of West Virginia separated
from Virginia during the Civil War. In 1859, John
Brown, an abolitionist, (someone who wanted to see
slavery abolished), led a raid on the town. He hoped
to use weapons seized from the U.S. Armory and
Arsenal to free slaves in the area. Brown then
planned to launch similar raids elsewhere from the
surrounding hills. He did not succeed, but the raid
contributed to tensions leading to the Civil War.
During the Civil War, both the Confederate and the
Union armies wanted control of Harpers Ferry. Not
only did it have an arsenal and armory (a place to
store weapons), but also the town was located at the
meeting point of important railroads and at the
meeting of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. In
fact, Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during
the war, which shows just how much both sides wanted
to control it.
Fasnacht in Helvetia
Did you know that West Virginia has its own version
of Mardi Gras?
The period before Ash Wednesday is celebrated in New
Orleans and elsewhere as Mardi Gras, but in
Helvetia, West Virginia, the local people celebrate
Fasnacht. Swiss immigrants brought this celebration
to Helvetia in the 19th century. Fasnacht is a
combination of the celebrations of Mardi Gras and
the Winterfest of Switzerland, where Old Man Winter
is burned in effigy to speed up the coming of
spring. (An effigy is a crude model of a person or
thing, usually someone or something that is
disliked.) The focus of the holiday in Helvetia is
also on scaring away winter.
On the Saturday night before Ash Wednesday, the
people of Helvetia put on scary masks and decorate
their homes with scary figures to frighten away Old
Man Winter. Then they gather at a local restaurant,
light colorful lanterns, and walk to the community
hall, where they parade around the dance floor as
their masks are judged. They dance until midnight,
when the fiddler announces it is time to burn Old
Man Winter. The prettiest girl gets on the shoulders
of the tallest man and cuts down the effigy of Old
Man Winter that is hanging in the middle of the
room. They drag it out into the snow, rough it up,
and throw it onto a bonfire, showing that it's time
for winter to end!
Thunder in the Valley
There is a city in West Virginia that changed
control between the Union and Confederate forces
during the Civil War 18 times!
"Thunder in the Valley," is an annual event in
Charles Town, West Virginia, to help remember its
Civil War heritage. During the Civil War, the
Shenandoah Valley was a strategic area, as it was on
the main travel route north and south. Control of
Charles Town changed hands 18 times while another
town in the valley, Harpers Ferry, changed hands
During "Thunder in the Valley," battle re-enactments
are staged. People dress up as Union and Confederate
soldiers, set up replicas of Union and Confederate
camps, and re-create the brief fights and battles
that took place during the Civil War. One of the
re-enactments is the invasion of Charles Town by
Confederate General John Imboden. People dress up as
Union and Confederate soldiers and take up positions
in the town for the re-enactment.
Although the thunder of battle is not as loud in the
re-enactment as it must have been in the real
battle, the smoke, noise and movement of soldiers
still gives a good idea of what the invasion was
The Mountain Weavers Guild
and Fiber Art Traditions in the Potomac Highlands
Look at the clothes you are wearing. Everything is
made of some kind of woven fabric. Did you know that
before the days of machines, fabric was woven by
Weaving is the interlacing of two strands of yarn so
that they cross each other. Weaving can also be done
on a device called a handloom. In the Potomac
Highlands of West Virginia, the Mountain Weavers
Guild keeps the tradition of hand weaving alive.
Members of the guild are assisted by instructors at
the Augusta Heritage Center and sponsored by Davis
and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.
Beginning and intermediate weavers learn how to
thread a loom, wind a warp (lengthwise yarn), and
weave on different types of looms. Advanced weavers
explore more detailed weaves and designs. The
history of weaving and the study of fibers and
threads are also covered. There are so many
different kinds of weaves, including satin, twill,
jacquard, and ribbed, that there is plenty to learn.
If you think about all the clothes you wear and all
the different fabrics, just imagine learning how to
weave each of them!
Today there are still people interested in the art
of hand weaving -- hand woven fabric is highly
valued and often considered an art form.
The following is a description of national
forests in the state
of West Virginia. There are no national
parks or monuments in this state. If you plan to visit or
live in West Virginia for awhile then you
should definitely plan to visit some of
these fantastic places.
Washington & Jefferson
In the Appalachian Mountains, the highest
point of the forest is Mount Rogers, also
the highest point in Virginia at 5,729 ft
(1,746 m) in Mount Rogers National
Recreation Area. There are 230,000 acres
(93,000 ha) of old-growth forest here, and
the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail
both run through the forest. This national
forest is also partially located in the
states of Kentucky and Virginia.
Monongahela National Forest includes Spruce
Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area
and eight wilderness areas. Spruce Knob is
the highest point in West Virginia at 4,863
ft (1,482 m), and Seneca Rocks is a 900 ft
(270 m) quartzite crag.
Do you love America and American English? Learn before
you travel. Facts and other cool stuff about your
favorite U.S. state. Visit the Fun Easy English Travel
America pages. Read about the beautiful National
Forests, Parks, and Monuments. Great English reading practice.
Planning to drive in America? Learn the rules and
regulations. Great English reading practice.
(Beginner - Listening)
Avoid Ineffective Study Methods. An audio lesson to help
you study English more effectively. The English is
spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great English study tips.
Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this