Free English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction Lessons
Saturday Nov 21st, 2009
In this week's podcast, we're going to learn how to pronounce the letter <t>. Listen to the pronunciation of <t> in the following sentence.
The water in my tea is too hot.
Perhaps you've noticed that in this sentence <t> is pronounced three different ways.
The focus of this week's podcast is:
Let's go back to the previous example.
The water in my tea is too hot.
Let's look at the words "tea" and "too"
Please listen and repeat : tea ... too
This type of t is very universal. It's found in most languages . It is known as the aspirated /t/.
It's also sometimes known as the initail /t/.
Aspirated means that we release more air when we say it.
Please listen and repeat: /t/.../t/
When do we use aspirated /t/ ?
Americans use this /t/ in two cases.
First Case of Aspirated "t"
Aspirated "'t" is used at the beginning of stressed syllables .
For example: What time is it?
The word " time" is stressed so I use the aspirated/ t/ because the t is coming
Let's listen to another example:
I'd like to return this sweater.
Noticed that the <t> in "return", came at the beginning of a stressed syllable and we therefore pronounced it with aspirated /t/. Also notice how the the other <t> in "sweater" was pronounced differently.This is becasue it did not occur before stressed syllables.
Today, we are only going to focus on the aspirated /t/ .
Second case of Aspirated /t/.
Aspirated / t/ is used when <t> occurs after a consonant.
As in the words "sentence" , or actor.
Although <t> is not coming in the stressed syllable, we still pronounce it /t/
The Difference Between American Aspirated /t/ and /t/ in Other Languages
Aspirated /t/ exists in many languages around the word but there is a small difference <br>between the American /t/ and most other languages.
In most languages <t> is pronounced with the tounge tip against the teeth .
How to Pronounce /t/:
Tongue: Point the tip of your tongue against the gum ridge (bump on the roof of your mouth.) .
In podcast #32 , we learned about "stop consonants" and "continuant consonants".
In podcast #30, we learned about "voiced" and "voiceless" consonants. /t/ is a voiceless consonant because wedo not use our voice to make this sound.
Exercise: Listen and repeat /t/, paying careful attention to the position of your tongue tip:
/t/ ... /t/ ...
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words containing /t/.
team... text ... attend ... sentence ... actor ...
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following American expressions and idioms containing /t/
Take your time.
Let's talk it over. . ( discuss)
It takes two to tango.. (there are two people responsible for what happened, not just one)
Practice is Key!
Speaking English clearly and correctly takes a lot of practice.
The Right Training Tools for Better Pronunciation:
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Thank you and see you next time!Share
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