American English Pronunciation-The Silent T

One of my students wrote this week to ask me why the T is silent in some American English words. I don’t know why it is silent but I can give you three spelling patterns that you can use to determine whether or not to pronounce the /t/ sound.

Many American English words contain a silent T. Here are three spelling patterns that you can use to determine if a T is silent or articulated. Don’t articulate the /t/ when you are saying words that fit into these spelling patterns.

1. When a t comes after an n as in the words: winter, interview & twenty.

2. In words that end with “sten” as in: listen, fasten & moisten.

3. In words that end with “stle” as in: castle, whistle & hustle.

Here is an earlier post that I wrote about the silent T sound in American English