American English: The Dropped T Sound

English is not always pronounced the same way that it’s written and that causes many pronunciation problems.

One written letter that is frequently omitted in the spoken English is the T.

When you listen to Americans talk in everyday conversations you may notice that the /t/ sound is often dropped after the /n/ sound. This is a very natural component of spoken English because it helps speakers to pronounce clusters of consonants more easily.

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

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

2. painting = Her painings are at the gallery.

3. twenty = Thomas’ job pays tweny dollars an hour.

4. plenty = Sally has pleny of money in the bank.

5. gigantic = That pizza is giganic!

6. Toronto=Torono is a great place to visit.

Many American English speakers also drop the /t/ sound between words. Here are some examples of this type of reduced speech:

7. want to = I wanna go shopping this afternoon.

8. going to = I’m gonna make chicken tonight.

9. don’t know = I dunno her email address.

Americans will understand you if you say the /t/ in the words above. However, if you want to reduce your accent and sound more American you should drop the /t/ sound in the above situations.

Whether you choose to make the /t/ sound or not, knowing these pronunciation patterns will allow you to understand Americans when they are speaking quickly or informally.

You will learn more about the many sounds of  the American English T in my Accent Reduction class.