1. In linked words, flapped T is pronounced such as (what if).

  2. Flapped T is pronounced when the T comes between two vowels.

According to the previous rules, I expect to pronounce the flapped T in the phrase (...rate our...). When I asked a native speaker, he answered that the T isn't flapped.

I still don't know why? And is the word (rate) a special case so we never flap the T in any phrase like (rate a service - rate it - rate or ...etc.)

  • 3
    When you describe pronunciation, you really want to make objective measurements. You don't want to ask native speakers about phonetic details. They're not always wrong, but their introspection on its own is surprisingly poor evidence.
    – user230
    Jul 21, 2018 at 10:30
  • @snailboat so you mean the flapped T is pronounced while pronouncing (rate our) and the other phrases? Jul 21, 2018 at 10:34
  • Those remarks about 'flapped' t sounds are mostly applicable to American pronunciation. Jul 21, 2018 at 11:07
  • 4
    user2824371 - I think @snailboat may be suggesting that most native speakers don't really think about whether or not they flap their T's when they say a word. Unless this person happens to be a speech therapist or something, there's a good chance the native speaker didn't even thoroughly understand your question.
    – J.R.
    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:09
  • 2
    user2824371 - Even if I said the word four or five times, I'd have no idea if I was "flapping" my T or not. I don't know if a "flapped T" is a "normal T" or something different. Most native speakers are not familiar with this terminology.
    – J.R.
    Jul 22, 2018 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


As the comments have indicated, your informant gave an inaccurate answer. The t in “rate” can be flapped when any vowel-initial word follows (including “our”). It doesn’t absolutely have to be, but that’s true in general for any word with /t/.

  • Thank you so much for your time and answer. What about the phrase rate our? I was asked about it specifically. Are native Americans flap the T or not? Jul 21, 2018 at 17:43
  • 3
    @user2824371 Prefer "native speakers of American English". Native Americans has a specific meaning, and I don't think it's the meaning you intended.
    – user230
    Jul 22, 2018 at 19:08
  • 1
    @MichaelGeorge Yes, we do! You can identify a flapped 't' by swapping the letter 't' out with 'd' and observing whether the pronunciation stays the same. Since flapped 't' and flapped 'd' are the same sound, pairs like "latter" and "ladder" can't be differentiated by sound. So, the test for your phrase to pass is does "rate our" sound identical to "radar"? Yes, it does - which shows that it has a flapped 't' sound. (In contrast, "retry" and "re-dry" don't sound the same, since their 't' and 'd' sounds are not flapped.) Dec 18, 2023 at 6:15

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