IPA phoneme /t/

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tea /tiː/

In Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /t/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "time", and "trap" and the final one in "hat" and "list". /t/ may sound [ɾ] (alveolar flap) in General American or [ʔ] (glottal stop) in Cockney. Butter sounds (in broad notation) /ˈbʌtər/ in all accents but in General American it is [ˈbʌɾər] and in Cockney it is [ˈbʌʔə].

/t/ is an unvoiced consonant; its voiced counterpart is IPA phoneme /d/. Bettwen vowels /t/ and /d/ may get neutralized as [ɾ] (a voiced consonant). Then "butter" may be pronounced [ˈbʌɾər] and "ladder" may be pronounced [ˈlæɾər].

Common words[edit]

Some common words which practice the initial pronunciation of /t/ include the following:

  • take - talk - team - technology - tell - time - today - together - town - train - travel - try - turn - type

Some common words which practice the mid-position pronunciation of /t/ include the following:

  • between vowels: city - later - letter - matter - political - return - security - water
  • other: between - country - its - little - stand - still - stop - story - study - system - understand

Some common words which practice the final position pronunciation of /t/ include the following:

  • about - but - different - get - great - government - just - last - lot - meet - next - part - point - put - want - what - write

Past tense pronunciation: "ed" sounds /t/ after voiceless consonants

  • asked - helped - laughed - passed - thanked - watched

"th" as /t/[edit]

  • AnthonyBrE - Thailand /ˈtaɪlænd/ - Thames /temz/ - Thomas - thyme

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit]

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.


Many Spanish speakers find hard to learn the past tense pronunciation of verbs. Passed may be pronounced *[ˈpɑːsɪd] instead of [pɑːst] but they are perfectly able to pronounce past.

See also[edit]