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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Word Pronounciation    

Word Pronounciation



Lidiana73
Australia

Word Pronounciation
 
Hi I´m an Australian teacher currently teaching english at all ages and levels in Italy. My query is related to the word "OFTEN". I have always known that the ´T´ in often is silent so we say OF-EN and I have been teaching it this way. Am I wrong? Recently I have heard other native speakers say it phonetically OFTEN. I have always corrected my students when they say it phonetically so I hope I´m not making an error when I do this. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

23 Dec 2008      



libertybelle
United States

I say of-fen but I think it depends on where it comes in a sentence.
I´ve heard people in Britain say - He often does that -
but never heard anyone say
He does that often.
L

23 Dec 2008     



Zora
Canada

I pronounce it "of - ten" ... but I gather that it can be pronounced both ways. Here´s what an on-line dictionary says. [aw-fuhn, of-uhn; awf-tuhn] 

23 Dec 2008     



Apryll12
Hungary

Hi! I´ve heard it pronounced in both ways. I prefer - if I can say so - with silent ´t´... So I always teach my students that way but I don´t correct them when they pronounce  the ´t´, I just draw their attention that in most of the cases it is without ´t´. My personal opinion is that it must depend on the dialect.
Krisztina

23 Dec 2008     



kaz76
United Kingdom

I have occasionally heard it pronounced here without a ´t´ but the majority of people pronounce it with a ´t´.  I guess it depends whereabouts you live.

23 Dec 2008     



alien boy
Japan

Hi everyone!

In a linguistics unit I´ve just completed this was one of the words that was discussed at length. The various references we found gave the word as being correct with both pronunciations - this from our lecturer & tutor too!

I actually use both variations - it depends on who I´m talking with & the way they pronounce it themselves.

I went to school in 4 different areas in Australia with 4 different education systems. Even within Australia, with relatively little variation in accent compared to the UK or US, I have heard it said both ways (about 50:50 too!). My general impression is the pronounced ´t´ seems to be more British than American, but I can´t guarantee that´s true!


libertybelle - I´ve heard ´he does that quite/fairly often´, so maybe it needs a modifier to occur in this position!

Good luck,
 B-)

23 Dec 2008     



alien boy
Japan

Just a thought...
 
there are only two words that I can think of that show the same spelling pattern:
 
oft  -  often
 
soft  -  soften
 
Can anyone think of any others?
 
With this in mind I will be teaching   ´off-en´ for ´often´ & ´soff-en´ for ´soften´ as this provides consistency for the students.
 
Cheers,
B-)

24 Dec 2008     



Zora
Canada

"Whiten" / "brighten" - some people pronounce the "t" and some don´t. I say it both ways, depending on who I am talking to.

24 Dec 2008     



alien boy
Japan

interesting. I´ve never heard ´whiten´ or ´brighten´ pronounced without the ´t´. Wow! Some interesting dialects there. Do you know if they would actually make the physical articulation to pronounce the letter but not actually voice it? This is the way Japanese make a silent ´u´ in many situations.
 
 

24 Dec 2008     



Zora
Canada

You know what? I never thought about it...so I tried saying it without the "t" sound and in fact you do hit the top of your mouth with your tongue as if you were about to pronounce the letter (or in my case, I do... can´t say it´s the same for all... ) so I´d have to say "yes" to that... 

24 Dec 2008     



alien boy
Japan

phonologically this phenomenon isn´t uncommon. When children are learning to speak they progress through articulation of sounds before they can actually voice them! This accounts for some aspects of ´baby talk´ produced by children when they are acquiring language.

24 Dec 2008     

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