How to Pronounce the /t/ Sound

In this lesson, we're going to delve into all the details about the /t/ sound and see what we can gain. Ready? Still interested? C'mon.

How to Pronounce the /t/ Sound

In this lesson, we are going to learn about how we can produce the /t/ sound using the proper articulatory organs.

What Type of Sound Is /t/?

/t/ is a consonant sound in the English language.

How to Produce /t/?

how to pronounce /t/

As you can see in picture (b), the tongue plays an important role here. It raises a bit and its tip is placed on the rooftop right behind the upper front teeth. Also, the uvula has blocked the air from going through to the nose. So, the air is stopped by the tongue. Then, when we lower our tongue, the air is released through the mouth. As you can see, the circle in the throat is grey which shows that we do not need to vibrate our vocal cords in the production of this sound. So, this sound is voiceless.
As you can see in picture (a), the lips and the teeth are parted slightly so as to let the air outside.
In picture (c), you can easily understand where exactly you can put the tip of your tongue. It is touching the roof of the mouth, just behind the upper front teeth. Below, you can find the letters that represent this sound:

Tool /tuːl/

Ticket /tɪkɪt/

Together /təˈɡeðər/

Alert /əˈlɜrt/

Warning!

Note that many people mistake the /t/ sound with /θ/ and /ð/. In the two sounds mentioned, we put the tip of the tongue eitherbetween the upper and lower teeth or just behind the upper front teeth whereas, in the /t/ sound, the tip of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. Compare:

Thought /θɑːt/

To /tuː/

/t/ Sound in 17 Most Common World Languages

As you can see in the table below, nearly all languages spoken around the world have this sound. There are some that seem to not have it. Look:

The Languages Do You Have It? Examples
Mandarin x -
Spanish tango
Hindustani x -
Bengali x -
Portuguese montanha
Russian толстый
Japanese 特別
Vietnamese tuần
Marathi x -
Turkish x -
French tordu
German Tochter
Italian tale
Persian توت
Arabic (Standard) تين
Korean 대숲

Listening

Below, there is an audio file that helps you learn the proper pronunciation of the /t/ sound:

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