[General] When letter "t" and "s" are together....

Silverobama

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This is a monologue. I was checking my student's homework. He reads English to me every day and I check his pronunciation.

When he read the sentence "How many students do you tutor right now?", he mispronounced the word "students". He pronounced the "ts" sound as "s". And then I said to him:

When letter "t" and "s" together, they're pronounced like "ts" not "s".

Is my sentence natural?
 

emsr2d2

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This is a monologue. I was checking my student's homework. He reads English to me every day and I check his pronunciation.

When he read the sentence "How many students do you tutor right now?", he mispronounced the word "students". He pronounced the "ts" sound as "s". And then I said to him:

When the letters "t" and "s" are [STRIKE]together[/STRIKE] next to each other in a word, they're pronounced like "ts" not "s".

Is my sentence natural?

See above.

Is it a particular problem with the word "students" or does he omit the "t" every time a word ends (or contains) "ts"?
 

5jj

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I hope you're not trying to get your student to pronounce a plosive aspirated /t/ in students. There is no plosion or aspiration in that /t/. Indeed, the final sounds of students are exactly the same as those of prudence.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Making the T stand out in nts is awkward and not necessary.

More important is not making it sound like studenz.

It will be interesting to see other opinions.

PS: Why is this a monologue?
 

Silverobama

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It was a monologue because I was commenting on his pronunciation. He made a tape (like the one I sent to you) and sent it to me.

I wasn't telling him to pronounce a plosive aspirated t. Nor have I asked him to pronounce students as studenz.

I asked him to pronounce the word like this.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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It was a monologue because I was commenting on his pronunciation. He made a tape (like the one I sent to you) and sent it to me.

Thanks. I get it now. It was confusing because you didn't tell us what the pronoun This referred to. What you gave us looked like a dialogue.


I wasn't telling him to pronounce a plosive aspirated t. Nor have I asked him to pronounce students as studenz.

Excellent!


I asked him to pronounce the word like this.
All of them say styoodents. In the US, most people say stoodents.
 

emsr2d2

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Using terms like "monologue" and "dialogue" in threads like this isn't really helping. You're not writing a play and, most of the time, it's clear from your post if you've been having a conversation with someone.
This thread should have just started "One of my students sent me a recording of him speaking English and I noticed that he fails to pronounce the "t" at the end of "students"."
 

jutfrank

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Using terms like "monologue" and "dialogue" in threads like this isn't really helping.

It isn't necessary in this case, no. Silver has mentioned this information because I asked him to make the context of the sentences he asks about as clear as possible. My request was that when the target sentence is uttered as a direct response to what somebody has said immediately prior, we need to know what that immediately prior sentence is. I asked Silver to write a mini-dialogue in such cases. Mentioning in this thread that the context is a 'monologue' is Silver's way of explaining why he hasn't written a mini-dialogue.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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It isn't necessary in this case, no. Silver has mentioned this information because I asked him to make the context of the sentences he asks about as clear as possible. My request was that when the target sentence is uttered as a direct response to what somebody has said immediately prior, we need to know what that immediately prior sentence is. I asked Silver to write a mini-dialogue in such cases. Mentioning in this thread that the context is a 'monologue' is Silver's way of explaining why he hasn't written a mini-dialogue.
Aha. I get it now.

Calling that dialogue a monologue didn't really help. It was just perplexing. We can recognize monologues and dialogues without being told.
 
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jadeJ

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When three consonants are together in a cluster like 'studeNTS' then it is natural to drop/omit the middle consonant. This means for many people, this words does sound like 'studens'. However, in careful speech the the /t/ will be there. We just don't notice it much before the plosive sound (puff of air) is hidden by the /s/.
 

5jj

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When three consonants are together in a cluster like 'studeNTS' then it is natural to drop/omit the middle consonant. This means for many people, this words does sound like 'studens'.
I don't agree. The /t/ is there in both student and students for most speakers. In both cases it is a stopped /t/ (unless the singular form is followed by a vowel or the /t/ is exploded for emphasis). As it is stopped, few people except trained phoneticians are aware that it's there. If it were not there, the voiced /n/ sound of the singular form would almost certainly be longer, and the final /s/ of the plural would tend to be voiced, approaching /z/. Neither the English Pronouncing Dictionary (16th edition) nor the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd edition) marks the /t/ as optional.
 
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