I know that the actual pronunciation found in dictionaries is "main-tuh-nence" but I always hear Americans and YouTube videos say it in an American accent and it almost sounds like "Maint-nence" like the "e" part is missing. Do they actually say the e letter but just really fast or skip it ? Thanks!

  • I meant "hear Americans" not "her Americans" sorry for the typo! – Christie Sep 16 '16 at 19:10
  • Welcome to ELL SE! You can always edit your question with the link just below the post. – Glorfindel Sep 16 '16 at 19:17
  • Some Americans may say "main-teh-nence" but the "teh" part quickly - Is this what you are seeing? – Harrichael Sep 16 '16 at 19:23
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    The word is pronounced in many regional NAmE dialects with an extremely truncated and almost non-existent second syllable: /ˈmeɪnt nɪns/ – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 16 '16 at 19:41
  • Or entirely missing rather than almost missing. This is called syllabic compression or syncope. – snailplane Sep 18 '16 at 15:41

For many "three syllable words", the unstressed middle syllable is not pronounced in everyday, informal conversation. For example, the following words are pronounced with two syllables:

several (sev rel)
chocolate (chok lit)

Add to this list maintenance (maint nince).

Words such as these are pronounced with three syllables only if the speaker is speaking slowly or very formally and wishes to pronounce all three syllables.

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The 'e' is not pronounce in US accent. Check out youglish:

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  • 1
    Judging how to pronounce a word from one speaker is a statistical fallacy. It's pronounced both ways. Listen. – Peter Shor Sep 17 '16 at 16:13
  • Not sure what you mean. The site above features hundreds of speakers (1557 just for US). – Atai Voltaire Sep 18 '16 at 23:25
  • How many of them did you listen to? The third video uses three syllables. – Peter Shor Sep 19 '16 at 0:12

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