The T letter in American English

If you speak English as a second language then you may had, or still have, a problem learning to pronounce an English letter that has no similar sound in your mother tongue alphabets. Many Arabs for example have a problem with the “P” sound confusing it with the “B” sound. But one of the most complicated American English letter is the “t” letter. It actually has few different sounds. Here are different examples of the “t” sound. Watch the video to hear the correct sound of the letter “t”.

True-T:

This is the “t” sound that every learner of English learns when learning English as a second language.

Example: Stop, try, ten, tomorrow, return. [video]

Deletion:

In this one, the “t” is completely gone. I am not sure if this one is practiced in all the states but I know people in Missouri overlook the “t” when it is in the middle of the word.

Example: interview, center, internet, enter, interstate, plenty, twenty, sentence, winter. [video]

Half-T:

When pronouncing a true-t there is a puff of air released at the end of the sound. When a word ends with a “t” the tip of the tongue touches the upper back teeth and stop (it doesn’t release air).

Example: Sit, get, forget, secret, benefit, account, payment, about, repeat, remote, candidate. [video]

Flap-T or tap:

This one is the most complicated and the weirdest sound. Sometimes when the “t” is in the middle of the word it sounds like /da/ but it is neither a “t” nor a “d”. It is called tap because the tongue touches behind the upper back teeth very quickly.

Example: water, little, Natalie, metal, lighter, daughter, waiter, lettuce. [video]

Strange things happen to the “T” in America!

Here is an American comedian takes of the letter “t” in the English/British accent:

American English for Jordanians

American English for Arabs

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