English is not always pronounced the same way that it's written and that is the cause of many pronunciation problems. One sound that is frequently omitted in the spoken version of the language is the /t/ sound.
When you listen to Americans talk in everyday conversations you may notice that the /t/ sound is often dropped after the /n/ sound. This is a very natural component of spoken English because the sound deletion helps speakers to pronounce clusters of consonants more easily.
Here are some examples of words in which many Americans drop the /t/ sound. The = symbol means "sounds like".
1. winter = winner
It's too cold here in the winner!
2. painting = paining
The painings of Goya are very religious.
3. twenty = tweny
Thomas is paid tweny dollars an hour at his job.
4. plenty = pleny
Sally has pleny of money in the bank.
5. gigantic = giganic
That mountain is giganic!
Torono is an interesting city.
Many American also drop the /t/ sound between words. Here are some examples of this type of reduced speech:
7. want to = wanna
I wanna go shopping this afternoon.
8. going to = gonna
I'm gonna cook chicken for dinner tonight.
9. don't know = dunno
I dunno her email address.
Some students of American English pronunciation choose not to reduce their speech by dropping the /t/ sound and that's perfectly OK. Americans will understand you if you say the /t/. However, if you want to make your American English sound less accented and more natural you may want to drop the /t/ sound in the above situations.
Whether you choose to make the /t/ sound or not, knowing these patterns will allow you to understand Americans when they are speaking quickly or informally.
Susan Ryan teaches American English pronunciation and Accent Reduction Classes http://accentreductionclassroom.com online and in Washington, D.C.
Visit her American English Pronunciation http://www.confidentvoice.com/blog blog to find more tips and lessons that you can use to reduce your accent and improve your American English communication skills.