I am an Indian student, and I must say, I have encountered a lot of variability over the pronunciation of this seemingly harmless word. I'm quite perplexed here.

Dr. Walter Lewin, a renowned physics professor from the MIT, pronounces it with a little to no emphasis on the "t", and simply glides over to the rest of the word.

Google translate on the other hand, gives a slight more emphasis on the "t", but it also adopts a more British accent for it.

While in India, our professors enunciate that "t", in fact roll their tongues over it, and even end the word with a harsh "t" sound. So who is actually correct here?

  • 1
    I don't think it's a matter of one source being correct and the other incorrect. I think it's more an example of how not every word gets pronounced exactly the same by every speaker.
    – J.R.
    Feb 4, 2019 at 10:40
  • @J.R. True, but I find a marked difference between the pronunciations from links I have provided above, and the one which we use in India. So I would like to have an answer that which one is more acceptable universally. An exhaustive set of the variations would also be welcome Feb 4, 2019 at 10:58
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    I recommend forvo.com for pronunciation questions - e.g. forvo.com/word/electromagnet/#en . Conveniently for "electromagnet" there is currently one American and one British pronunciation.
    – nachose
    Feb 4, 2019 at 15:30
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    No offense to Dr. Lewin, but he is not a native English speaker and, while he is fluent, he has a noticeable Dutch accent. Even then, I do hear him pronounce the 't' at 2:18. Feb 4, 2019 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Pronunciation is usually the biggest difference between dialects. There is no standard, defined-as-correct pronunciation for English. The main question when wondering whether someone has pronounced something 'correctly' is whether they are understandable with the minimum ambiguity, but even that depends on the dialect of both speaker and listener.

Personally, I pronounce it such that you definitely know the 't' is there, but not that it stands out particularly. I would say the stress is on the second syllable, the short 'e' sound of elEctromagnet.

I'm not sure how you emphasise a consonant phoneme, though. Nor how you roll a 't'.

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