I'm doing a course on Edx. In that episode the lecturer pronounces "thought" almost the same as "taught". The time point is 8:15, multiplication rule lecture 1.3, Stat_2.2x. 8:20 in this video on YouTube.

I've searched the pronunciation difference between these two words, in a tutorial on Youtube, the teacher doesn't mention this case.

So, do you sometimes pronounce "thought" the same as "taught"? Is it allowed to ignore "h" sometimes informally?

  • Sylvester certainly does! youtube.com/watch?v=MvNfPSXWZqw – Jim May 11 '15 at 3:40
  • 2
    The only one I ever heard say "thought" that way was WB Tweety-bird, watch here on YouTube Looney Tunes Super Stars Tweety and Sylvester at 1:04. If I heard someone say this I would think it childish at best. – user3169 May 11 '15 at 3:44
  • Wow. I completely mis-typed. I meant Tweety Bird about Sylvester. Ooops. – Jim May 11 '15 at 3:54
  • 1
    In some dialects of English, the dental fricative (your "th") is pronounced "t". Some Irish people say it that way, for example. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 11 '15 at 12:02
  • 1
    For what it's worth, pronouncing /θ/ and /ð/ as [t] and [d] is actually a feature of English varieties around the globe, including various dialects in both the US and UK: books.google.co.jp/… – snailplane May 11 '15 at 17:40

Not only are the two pronounced differently, but confusing the two is (in American English) grounds for humor. The classic example is the phrase "I taught I taw a puddy-tat", used by the cartoon character Tweety-Bird. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38aDWDUjlOY for the original cartoon.

| improve this answer | |

No we don't say thought as taught. (Except maybe by certain Irish speakers of English, who say thanks as tanks.)

The person in this video says thought. She doesn't pronounce it almost the same as taught. One cannot even do that. There is either the th or not. This person also says thought at 7:51. She may have a slightly unique pronunciation, but she's saying thought.

Saying it as taught is not an option, except for the one possible exception I know of, or other similar dialect. But not in any major dialect.

| improve this answer | |
  • Really? I'm not sure now if she pronounces correctly. Maybe that pronunciation difference is difficult for Chinese to discriminate. – Lerner Zhang May 11 '15 at 8:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.