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  1. anupumh's Avatar
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    #1

    Lightbulb Pronunciation of Often

    Hi,

    I have heard 2 pronunciations of "Often" though only one is found in most of the dictionaries.

    1) Often: Ofn (normal pronunciation)
    2) Often: OfTen (a prominent T sound)

    The no 2 pronunciation is British or American?
    Which one popular and widely accepted?

    Thanks

  2. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Hi,

    I have heard 2 pronunciations of "Often" though only one is found in most of the dictionaries.

    1) Often: Ofn (normal pronunciation)
    2) Often: OfTen (a prominent T sound)

    The no 2 pronunciation is British or American?
    According to my dictionary both pronunciations are possible in British and American.

    /ofn/ /oftn/ (British)
    /a:fn/ /a:ftn/ (American)
    Last edited by mara_ce; 12-Sep-2009 at 04:07.


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    #3

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    When we were learning English 20 years ago in China, we were told to pronounce 'OFN'.

    After years, however, I found more and more people say 'OFTN'.

    Finally I asked an English linguistic professional, and she said both are correct, whereas 'OFTN' is more widely used in North America.

  3. Huda-M's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    The T in often would be silent.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by Huda-M View Post
    The T in often would be silent.
    Interesting use of "would" - I suppose the full sentence would be:

    The T in often would be silent in the speech of someone who believed that there was only one correct answer, and that that answer was that the T should be silent.

    As previous answers have said, both pronunciations are acceptable. There was a silly prescriptive rule in favour of many 'silent' letters; the suppression of the T in 'often' is one of the more tenacious shibboleths (it was drummed into me for my first 5 years, and going to school was an eye-opener - 'What were these people saying?'). But very few people today omit the L in 'golf' (which used to be regarded as the only acceptable pronunciation).

    b

  5. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    I hear both, but usually we pronounce it without the T sound.

  6. Huda-M's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Interesting use of "would" - I suppose the full sentence would be:

    The T in often would be silent in the speech of someone who believed that there was only one correct answer, and that that answer was that the T should be silent.

    As previous answers have said, both pronunciations are acceptable. There was a silly prescriptive rule in favour of many 'silent' letters; the suppression of the T in 'often' is one of the more tenacious shibboleths (it was drummed into me for my first 5 years, and going to school was an eye-opener - 'What were these people saying?'). But very few people today omit the L in 'golf' (which used to be regarded as the only acceptable pronunciation).

    b
    I have always heard often as OFEN, I mean with T silent.... Often looks pretty strange to me.....
    Is it a difference of the two Englishes ??

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Only two?

    b

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    #9

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I hear both, but usually we pronounce it without the T sound.

    Interesting, since I live only approximately 50 km. (as the crow flies across Lake Ontario) from you, I hear it pronounced with the T here. I always pronounce it, but that could be because of my German heritage.

  8. Huda-M's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Only two?

    b

    Are there more????

    I'm not a native, and I have heard only about British and American english.... And I don't even know the difference between those two, you are saying there are MORE....

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