How to Link Words Using the Stop T

Nov 2, 2020

How to Link Words Using the Stop T

11/2/2020

A funny thing happens to the True T sound when it comes at the end of a word. Sometimes it turns into a completely different sound - a Stop T sound. Native speakers may use a Stop T within a word, like in the word "written", or between words to link them together, like in the phrase "Put that down". Improve the rhythm of your spoken English and learn the rules for using a Stop T sound to link words together in this video!

(Video Transcript)

 

Hi, I’m Julie with San Diego Voice and Accent, and in this video you’ll learn how to link words together using the stop T.

 

The American T sound is somewhat unique. It can be pronounced three different ways depending on where it occurs in the word and in the sentence. I discussed all three T sounds in an earlier video, so if you’d like more background information about the American T sound, I recommend you watch that video first.

 

In this video, I’m going to discuss the stop T. This is also called the glottal stop or the glottal T - all three terms refer to the same sound.

 

How to make the stop T

The stop T is made with the vocal cords. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. The vocal cords come together to stop the airflow, and the tongue doesn’t do anything. It just sits there in the mouth, waiting for the next sound. The stop T is made only with the vocal cords. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.

 

There should be a distinct stop to the airflow - ah. 

 

Sometimes my accent clients will only stop voicing, ahhhh, ahhh, but they don’t actually close the vocal cords together. Make sure you are closing your vocal cords together - ah. There should be a sharp end to the sound.

 

The stop T can be used instead of the true T in words like written /ˈɹɪʔ.n̩/ and atmosphere /ˈæʔ.mə.sfɪɹ/. And it can also be used in place of the true T at the end of a word when you connect the words together, like in hot dog /ˈhɑʔ ˌdɑɡ/ and Kit Kat /ˈkɪʔ ˌkæt/.

 

When to use the stop T

But how do you know when to use a stop T to link two words together? Luckily, there is a rule! 

 

Native speakers sometimes use a stop T when a word ends in a T and the next word begins with a consonant, and almost always when the next word begins with a stop consonant, like a /t/ or /d/, /k/ or /g/, or /p/ or /b/ sound. Let’s look at some examples.

 

Linking with stop T: Words

Hot dog. 

 

The T in hot is a stop T because the next word, dog, begins with a stop consonant, the /d/ sound.

 

Kit Kat. 

 

The T in Kit is a stop T because the next word, Kat, begins with a stop consonant, the /k/ sound.

 

It said. 

 

The T in it is a stop T because the next word, said, begins with a consonant, the /s/ sound.

 

Linking with stop T: Sentences

Now let’s look at the stop T in sentences. I’ll say the full sentence three times at my normal pace, and then I’ll say it three times slowly. Then I’ll say the two words that link together using the stop T three times. Repeat after me.

 

I wake up at seven.

 

at seven 




It should be here today.

 

It should



I love to eat good pizza. 

 

eat good




The book is about my family.

 

about my



You forgot to buy milk!

 

forgot to



I hope this video helped you with linking using the stop T. Thanks so much for watching, and let me know how I can help you master the American accent!