In English, not all t’s are the same. We have an aspirated t and a stop t. I don’t wax on lyrical about this in class; I just want the students here at my スミス英会話生駒 (English converstation class inIkoma) to notice that a difference exists. I can change how the ending of a word sounds.
These aren’t reductions per say but they affect how words sound quite a bit.
I wrote last about the disappearing ‘H’ in the story ‘The Baby’.
Now, I want to touch on something I noticed a while ago, and it happens in ‘The Baby’. I call it the soft ‘T’.
Anyway, I noticed that some t’s also pretend to be d’s. Like ‘water’. I have met some people who say water with a sharp t sound, but most say it with a d sound. My students are all used to this.
But it becomes a problem when the last sound in a word changes from t to d and then joins up with the next word. Like ‘put her down.‘ It ends up sounding like ‘pudder down.’
Explaining all this, does not help. Most people forget explanations. Helping students to notice this is much more effective. And the more you point it out, the better they will become at seeing when it happens for themselves.