For some people, the Flap T is a tricky sound. Learn how to practice it to make it more natural.
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I recently did a video on the Flap T — is it really a D sound? The main thing that we learned in that video is that the Flap T and D between vowels don’t have a stop component. In this American English pronunciation video, we’ll learn how exactly to make the sound, and practice it.T and D will both likely be pronounced this way when coming between two vowels, or after an R and before a vowel. Example words: party, better, ladder. To make this sound, the front part of the tongue will bounce against the roof of the mouth about here as a transition between other sounds.
For example, the word ‘better’. For the vowel sound EH, the tongue tip is down and the jaw is dropped: better. And it will quickly bounce here before pulling back into the R sound. Better. Very fast against the roof of the mouth there. Be careful that the contact between the tongue and the roof of the mouth is minimal. You don’t want a lot of the tongue raising and touching, just a little, otherwise it will sound heavy, sloppy and unclear, and may have a slight stop component. We don’t want this sound to have a stop. It’s an issue I’ve noticed with my Russian and Polish students.
A great way to practice this sound is to hold out the sound before and after, and make sure the movement of the tongue in the transition of these two sounds is very light and quick. Let’s practice.
I hope this video helps you understand exactly how to make this flap sound. Remember: practice by holding out the sound before and the sound after to isolate this very quick movement of the tongue.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.