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  1. #1
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    Default Pronunciation of 'often'

    Hello,

    Are the two different pronunciations of the term 'often' (with or withouth an audible 't') regionally characterised? In other words, where in the English-speaking world is it more likely that I hear either?

    Thanks a lot,
    aaeaanw

  2. #2
    paochai01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Quote Originally Posted by aboutaseasyasanuclearwar View Post
    Hello,

    Are the two different pronunciations of the term 'often' (with or withouth an audible 't') regionally characterised? In other words, where in the English-speaking world is it more likely that I hear either?

    Thanks a lot,
    aaeaanw
    T is heard mostly in British while it disappears in American English.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Quote Originally Posted by aboutaseasyasanuclearwar View Post
    Hello,

    Are the two different pronunciations of the term 'often' (with or withouth an audible 't') regionally characterised? In other words, where in the English-speaking world is it more likely that I hear either?

    Thanks a lot,
    aaeaanw
    Never with a [t] in Oz, apart from 80+ yr olds.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    In BR accents, "often" is pronunced "offen".
    but in US both "often" & "offen" are pronunced, concidering that "often" is more popular in USA

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    Merentha is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Historically, I believe the pronunciation without the "t" was most common in America (I'm not sure about the UK, but I think the same applies there).

    In recent years, listening to newscasters and the like, there does seem to be a trend toward pronouncing the "t". The issue has been discussed frequently in various English usage forums; the general consensus is that, for some reason, "of-T-en" is now perceived to be the prestige pronunciation.

    Personally, I think "of-T-en" sounds silly. Next, people will be saying "su-B-tle" ...

    Regards,
    Merentha

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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Could a British man write something? I got confused...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Quote Originally Posted by ladybird987 View Post
    Could a British man write something? I got confused...
    I have always pronounced it with the "t" audible. British, male, 58 years old.

  8. #8
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    Smile Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I have always pronounced it with the "t" audible. British, male, 58 years old.
    I never have, I mean ever since I started to learn English (that is, about 14 years ago when I first tried to pronounce a single word in English).
    Without 't' you don't have to use your muscles in your mouth and throat too much, as opposed to 't' pronounced.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    Both "ofTen" and "offen" are heard here in NZ. I think the split would be roughly 85% "offen", 15% "ofTen". I lamost never say "ofTen", but it is sometimes used for emphatic purposes. I don't think there is any perception here that it is somehow a "superior" pronunciation.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of 'often'

    It is only in recent years that "often" has become common in the U.S.

    It appears now that it has outpaced "offen" which used to be the standard, virtually exclusive, pronunciation.

    You have to wonder whether a similar trend will hijack the pronunciation of soften.

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