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How would you say the phrase locked out?

I believe the word locked by itself is pronounced with the t sound. So like lock + t.

However, I hear people saying it with the d sound, like lock + d out

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    Are you asking about either American or British pronunciation, by any chance?
    – user230
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 19:31
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    American pronunciation
    – Vic
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 20:29

2 Answers 2

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If I'm only saying the word locked, it'll sound like a t is on the end.

However, if I utter the expression locked out as part of a sentence:

Yesterday was a bad day. I was locked out of my apartment.

then the phrase locked out of might sound like lock doutta.

I don't think it's a matter of "which way is it pronounced," because it may not always be pronounced the same way, depending on a number of factors, such as:

  • Location in the sentence – are locked out the last two words of the sentence, or in the middle?
  • Surrounding words – I might pronounce locked out yesterday differently from locked out in the cold or locked out of my car.
  • Pace of my speech – am I speaking in a rushed manner, or am I enunciating carefully?
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    These details are helpful for beginners. The first step is to be aware of the existence of these situations. However, it would be more useful after that if sample examples are provided. Then the OP could be enlightened as where to go for more serious treatment on the subject. For example, pronunciation and connected/fast speech. Some references could also be mentioned. Whaddaya Say? by Nina Weinstein, English Pronunciation in Use Elementary/Intermediate/Advanced published by Cambridge. Check Wikipedia article on Relaxed Pronunciation.
    – learner
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 3:02
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    That's a good comment; maybe we "oughtta" include the link.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 8:51
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Here's an audio recording from a guy in the UK. Definitely sounds a bit British to my American ears, but it's perfectly clear. Seems to end with more of a t sound, which was the answer I was inclined to favor initially anyway.

I'd say either is acceptable when talking fast, because both involve roughly the same vocal movement, and the sound is roughly equivalent, and there's not a lot of opportunity to make fine discriminations among phonemes when they're coming at you rapid-fire. Any consistent differences on this particular matter might be more regional than universal, so if you're trying to adopt a particular accent, that's probably important to mention. If not, my feeling is that it's pretty arbitrary.

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  • I understand the word locked ends with the t, but do native speakers say it with t as well when speaking fast?
    – Vic
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 19:17
  • ohhh...I see what you're getting at! I'll edit. Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 19:21
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    We are talking about American's "flap-t" here, perhaps? (Actually, it shouldn't be called "flap-t" in this case, but I think it has a similar effect when we speak fast.) Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 19:23

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