The American “T”

The American “T” is influenced very strongly by intonation and its position in a word or phrase. There are however 4 basic rules
T is T;
T is D;
T is silent;
T is held.

Top of the staircase [T is T]
If the T is at the beginning of a word, it is a strong, clear T sound.
Table, take, tomorrow, teach, ten
It took Tim ten times to try the telephone

Middle of the staircase [T is D]
If T is in the middle of a word, it changes the sound to a soft D. Letter sounds like Ledder. Examples:
Water, Daughter, Bought a, caught a, lot of, meeting. What a good idea! Put it in a bottle Get a better water heater Patty ought to write a better letter

T is silent
When ‘T’ and ‘N’ are so close in the mouth, the sound ‘T’ can disappear.
Interview (Innerview); International (Innernational); Advantage (Advanage); Percentage (percenige)
*If the ‘T’ is at the end of a word, you almost don’t hear it at all.
Examples: Put, what, lot, set, hot, brought, shot. That’s quite right isn’t it?

Bottom of the staircase [T is Held]

With ‘–ttain’,’-tten’, and some ‘tn’ combinations, the ‘T’ is held.
Written, Certain, Forgotten, sentence
He’s forgotten the carton of satin mittens
She’s certain that he has written it
Martin has gotten a kitten

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