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, 2016 at 19:10
  • Welcome to ELL SE! You can always edit your question with the link just below the post.
    – Glorfindel
    Sep 16, 2016 at 19:17
  • Some Americans may say "main-teh-nence" but the "teh" part quickly - Is this what you are seeing?
    – Harrichael
    Sep 16, 2016 at 19:23
  • 4
    The word is pronounced in many regional NAmE dialects with an extremely truncated and almost non-existent second syllable: /ˈmeɪnt nɪns/ Sep 16, 2016 at 19:41
  • 1
    Or entirely missing rather than almost missing. This is called syllabic compression or syncope.
    – user230
    Sep 18, 2016 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


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.


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

  • 1
    Judging how to pronounce a word from one speaker is a statistical fallacy. It's pronounced both ways. Listen. Sep 17, 2016 at 16:13
  • Not sure what you mean. The site above features hundreds of speakers (1557 just for US). Sep 18, 2016 at 23:25
  • How many of them did you listen to? The third video uses three syllables. Sep 19, 2016 at 0:12

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