Accent Reduction Tip-The Dropped T Sound

My accent reduction coaching clients are often surprised to learn that English is not always pronounced the same way that it’s written.

Here’s an example:

I was working with one of my Japanese clients on the pronunciation of the words Toronto and center.

He was pronouncing these words with short vowel sounds and heavy T sounds. That made the words sound choppy. The T sounds were louder than the vowel sounds.

I told him that those words would sound more clear and natural if he dropped the sound of the letter T.

I explained that North American English speakers frequently drop the /t/ sound when it occurs after the /n/ sound. This is very common in everyday conversations.

Here are some examples of words in which many Americans drop the /t/ sound.

1. winter = winner -It’s too cold here in the winner!

2. twenty = twenny- Thomas is paid twenny dollars an hour.

3. plenty = plenny -Sally has plenny of money in the bank.

4. center = cenner- Jim lives in the city cenner.

5. Toronto=Toronno -Toronno is an interesting city.

There are MANY others!

Some of my accent reduction clients prefer not to drop the /t/ sound and that’s OK. North Americans will understand you if you articulate the /t/.

However, if you want to reduce your accent and sound more natural you may want to drop the /t/ sound in the words above.

Here is a short QUIZ you can take to test your knowledge of the American T sounds.

The Sounds of the American T

The letter T makes a variety of sounds in spoken American English. Do you know what these sounds are? Do you know the rules for pronouncing the letter T? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.
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