How many ways are there to pronounce the letter t?
If you learn words one at a time, the pronunciation is easy – but can be very different from natural speed English.
Let’s look at this sentence:
It takes more than twenty minutes to get across London by train.
Depending on the speaker’s accent there are at least three ways of pronouncing the letter /t/.
- For many people, Londoners and Americans for example, the second /t/ of twenty disappears.
- The /t/ in train becomes more like a /ʧ/ as in church.
- Before a vowel, the /t/ at the end of a word can sound more like a /d/ (…to get across…)
- Also, when a word ends in /t/ and the next one starts with /t/ the two sounds join together to make a new one. (This is called twinning, or gemination.) It’s like there is a short pause as you are saying the sound.
It takes an hour
I’ve got two brothers
Is this the hot tap?
The same principle is true for other consonants:
Listen carefully for these sounds as you hear native speakers talking English, and try to copy what you hear.