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Erica Rösi Pedersen
07/19/2016 10:12:13 PDT
It is because "tain" is the stressed syllable. Whenever T is on the stress, a regular T sound is used. Good question!

07/18/2016 23:40:03 PDT
Why Contain is pronounced Contain.. As per "T before N: Hard N sound" it should be pronounced like Con-N right?

Erica Rösi Pedersen
06/25/2015 22:39:19 PDT
Hello. Good question! When there is a long vowel followed by an L sound, there is a small u (u as in up) sound before the L. This is a natural sound for Americans because we do not have precise vowels. You will find rules like this in books on American English pronunciation, but the little extra sounds are not usually noted in online dictionaries. Hope this helps!

Carlos Pedro
06/24/2015 14:25:08 PDT
Good afternoon.
Nice to meet you Teacher.
I have been studying a bit from your website and I have found a few diferent between the word that dictionaty says, exemplo; In na exemplo you say; Tail and the pronounce is diferente from others, Why? I could understand it. May you can explan it to me, please?
Thank you very much.
Carlos From Brazil.

10/08/2013 10:42:19 PDT
Thanks Erica.

Erica Rösi Pedersen
10/05/2013 10:44:06 PDT
Hello. You're right that seventy and ninety do not follow the usual rule at all. These are just exceptions, words that changed a little bit through everyday use. I only listed them here because they are so common and necessary.

For all of the T sound rules, you will find a few exceptions. It's best to be aware that T can have the sounds above and listen carefully as you hear Americans speaking.

Don't be too concerned, though! The basic rules on this page are definitely useful for the majority of words.

10/04/2013 13:35:19 PDT
Hello, am Gloria. I am having a little problem on the pronunciation of the word "seventy". It is pronounced "sevendy". From what I have learned so far I don't understand why it is different from the other words with T coming after N. I believe it should be "seveny" instead of sevendy; as in the words; interview, interstate, international, wanted, printer, enter, twenty among others.
Please help me here. Am quite confused. Thanks

Erica Rösi Pedersen
06/07/2013 07:36:33 PDT
We have created new discussions for each of the 500 words pages. If you have a question or comment on American English T sounds, post them here.

When I teach my quarterly classes at the University of Washington, the American English T sounds always interest the students! The T sound rules are very distinct to the American accent. As soon as a student says 'wa-der” instead of “wa-ter,” American English is present.

The rule of T becoming a D between vowel sounds works very well—keeping in mind that this rule never applies when T falls on the stressed syllable as in the word “attempt.” There are exceptions, as always, like the word “protein.” And yet, most of the time, you can open a book, underline all the T's that are between vowels and not on the stress, and the rule will work. It is also an important rule for phrases. Saying that you will “pu-don” a jacket sounds much more American than saying the words “put” and “on” separately. Using this sound in phrases helps speakers to sound smooth and fluent.

The T after N rule is easy to do and perfectly acceptable in casual situations. The T before N rule is not easy for many people. If you can do it—that's great! If not, a light T sound is also fine.

The funny thing is that Americans do not even know that they change T to a D or alter T's near N's. When I meet Americans at socials and explain what I do, they are amazed when I describe how we change T sounds. These changes were part of the mid-western American accent which was the accent that Hollywood adopted as standard American English. No schooling was necessary to spread the cultural phenomenon. Television did the job!