One Key Difference Between British RP And American Accents – When /t/ says /d/.

Difference Between British RP and American Accent- When /t/ says /d/

In American English the /t/ consonant says a light, quick, flapped or tapped/d/ when:

  • the /t/ is between 2 vowels such as in later, rating.
  • the /t/ is between an /r/ and a vowel as in party, starting, smarter.
  • the /t/ follows a stressed syllable as in butter- the ‘bu’ is a stressed syllable and the /t/ follows directly after it, matter, lighten.

The /d/ isn’t held on as long as  with a normal /d/ and your tongue just quickly flaps up to the usual /d/ position and drops quickly.


British: writer  /ˈraɪ.tər/      American: ‘wrider’ /ˈraɪ.t̬ɚ/

British: water   /ˈwɔː.tər/      American:  ‘wader’ /ˈwɑː.t̬ɚ/   

British: eating  /iːtɪŋ/            American:  ‘eading’   /ɪŋ/    

British: better  /ˈbet.ər/        American:  ‘bedder’   /ˈbet̬.ɚ/

British: article  /ˈɑː.tɪ.kəl/      American:  ‘ardicle’  /ˈɑːr.t̬ɪ.kəl/

British: rated  /reɪtəd/            American:  ‘raded’  /reɪt̬əd/   

Of course you will find many more examples of this when you’re practising with our trainer in our American accent course.

Best wishes, Esther

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