The sound /t/ voiceless, alveolar, stop consonant




  • “t” – time, try
  • "te" - late, write
  • “tt” – mitt, better
  • “th” (not common) – thyme, Thai
  • “ed” – rushed, missed


The sound /t/ can be in these clusters:
    • Beginning of a Syllable
/st/ ("st") - store
/tr/ ("tr") - try
/tw/ ("tw") - twin
/str/ ("str") - street
  • End of a Syllable
/ts/ ("ts"/ “tes’) - hits, rates
/pt/ ("pt" / “ped” / "pped") - apt, hoped, ripped
/spt/ (“sped”) - rasped
/rpt/ (“rped”) - warped
/mpt/ ("mpt" / “mped”) - prompt, pumped
/lpt/ (“lped”) - helped
/kt/ (“ct” / “ked,” / “cked”) - act, baked, locked
/kts/ ("cts") - acts
/kst/ (“xed”) - faxed
/lkt/ (“lked”) - milked
/rkt/ (“rked”) - parked
/ft/ ("ft" / “fed” / "ghed") - raft, goofed, coughed 
/fts/ ("fts") - rafts
/mft/ (“mphed”) - triumphed
/st/ ("st" / “ssed”) - lost, tossed
/rst/ ("rst" / “rsed” / "rced") - worst, parsed, forced
/ʃt/ (“shed”) - finished
/θt/ (“thed”) - badmouthed
/tʃt/ (“ched”) - fetched
/ntʃt/ (“nched”) - punched
/ltʃt/ (“lched”) - filched
/rtʃt/ (“rched”) - marched
/rt/ ("rt") - sort
/rts/ ("rts") - arts
/lt/ ("lt") - felt
/lts/ ("lts") - faults
/nt/ ("nt") - hint
/nts/ ("nts") - pants
Grammar Tip

The “-ed” ending is used to mark most past tense verbs, some past participles, and some participial adjectives. The “-ed” ending is pronounced /t/ after a voiceless consonant that is not /t/ (/p/, /k/, /f/, /s/ /ʃ/, /tʃ/).
  • helped,
  • laughed 
  • missed
  • rushed
  • watched
Compare /t/ with /d/:

These are both alveolar stop consonants. However, /t/ is a voiceless consonant and /d/ is a voiced consonant. When you pronounce /t/, your vocal cords should not vibrate.

You can hear the difference between /t/ and /d/ in the words below.
1. A. time, B. dime
2. A. try, B. dry
3. A. mate, B. made
4. A. built, B. build
5. A. hurts, B. herds
6. A. center, B. sender

Now, compare /t/ and /θ/:

These are both voiceless, alveolar consonants. However, /t/ is a stop and /θ/ is a fricative. When you pronounce /t/, the air in your mouth should be stopped, then released.
You can hear the difference between /t/ and /θ/ in the words below.
1. A. tank, B. thank
2. A. torn, B. thorn
3. A. tree, B. three
4. A. bat, B. bath
5. A. tent, B. tenth
6. A. heart, B. hearth
Listen and repeat these words:
1. take
2. try
3. truth
4. store
5. street
6. late
7. pots
8. best
9. melt
10. helped
11. worst
12. barked
13. fixed
14. theater
15. mentor
16. restroom
17. afternoon
18. entrance
19. strategic
20. entertainment

Now, practice /t/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
1. ate - leftover - breakfast
I ate leftover food for breakfast. 
2. worked - night - project 
I worked all night to finish the project.
3. technician - fixed - tablet 
The technician fixed my tablet for me.
4. sister - worst - part - city
My sister lives in the worst part of the city.
5. missed - football - yesterday
I missed seeing the football game yesterday.
6. teacher - starts - taking - attendance
The teacher starts class by taking attendance. 

To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below:

Consonants /d/ and /g/

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