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    #1

    Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    Hi,

    When I was learning English, the teacher told us not to pronounce T in subtle and often. But I see some native speakers say T when pronouncing them. Which one is correct?

    Or does this have to do with the country? I am in Canada, but there are Americans too where I work.


    Thanks.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    I think your memory is slightly faulty here. The t in subtle is always pronounced. It is the b that is silent.

    I do hear people pronounce the t in often sometimes, and as a native speaker of AmE from Canada I would not say they are wrong, but I tend to consider it an inferior usage, given that it is far less common.

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    #3

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    Sorry I meant for subtle, the T should sound like D, but I see some people saying SA-til, and not SA-dil, not sure if I am writing the pronunciation correctly.

    But I heard both usage from natives if I remember correctly.

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    #4

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    It's not that the 't' should sound like a 'd'. It's just that if you're in North America, it often does. If your teacher spoke non-American English, she would have used a 't'.
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Mar-2014 at 08:05. Reason: Non-essential QUOTE deleted

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    #5

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    Moderator’s Note.

    The QUOTE feature can be very useful, but there is no need to QUOTE part/all of a previous post when it is clear what you are referring to. Over-use of this feature can makes threads unnecessarily long. Please QUOTE only if it clarifies what could be confusing, or if you are making corrections to the original text. Thank you.

    5jj
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 09-Mar-2014 at 09:40.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    ... but I tend to consider it an inferior usage, given that it is far less common.
    Interesting. I'm just wondering whether frequency of usage is really a good indicator of the superiority of a word or pronunciation or point of grammar. For example, is "I wish I had of done that" superior to "I wish had have done that" in a certain region where it more frequent? If you visited Australia, should we consider your pronunciation inferior to ours because you're numerically outnumbered here?

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    [...] there is no need to QUOTE part/all of a previous post when it is clear what* you are referring to.
    Is this a new rule? Anyhow, I think it's important in some cases so that everyone knows who is being addressed or responded to. Looking back at my message #4, it's not immediately apparent what I'm responding to, and I do believe that a quote quoting "the T should sound like D" would make my post (and the thread) easier for many students and others to follow, because no one has to go back over the posts looking for the references.
    * Remember who as well. Often, a poster will interrupt a thread with "What do you mean?" with no indication of who is being questioned.

    But I agree with the general principle of the need to think about whether and what to quote.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    No, it's not a rule. It's just an attempt to cut out unnecessarily long responses. I agree that it is important to know who is being addressed - if I had responded to your post after after people had posted, I might well have quoted part of your post to make it clear what points I was addressing. However, very recently, one member responded immediately to a twelve-line question by quoting the whole question and then effectively saying "You are correct". Your post #4 was an immediate response to lachdanan's post #3, and I felt there was therefore no need to quote post #3 especially when you began with the words "It's not that the 't' should sound like a 'd'."
    On the other hand, your post #7 was a response to post #2, and the quote was useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    * Remember who as well. Often, a poster will interrupt a thread with "What do you mean?" with no indication of who is being questioned.
    I agree. The QUOTE facility is under-used sometimes. However, some of us (I include myself) are almost automatically clicking on the "Reply with Quote' when a simple 'Reply' would be more appropriate. Some of us are also quoting long messages when we need to quote only a few words.

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    #9

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    'Subtle' often sounds more like 'suckle' than 'suttle' or 'suddle'.

    Click here to listen to a variety of pronunciations of the word.

    Nobody can tell you which one is correct. They are all acceptable when the context makes the meaning clear.

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    #10

    Re: Do you pronounce T in subtle and often?

    I am not a teacher.

    I have come across the question of the "t" in "often" many times before, and I would like to quote H. W. Fowler in Modern English Usage.

    "The pronunciation of the t in often is practised by two oddly consorted classes—the academic speakers who affect a more precise enunciation than their neighbours…& the uneasy half-literates who like to prove that they can spell….”

    It should not be pronounced, no matter where you are from.

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