How Americans Pronounce the NT Sound as an N (with Video)

Do you think Americans speak too fast and cut their words? I’ll be the first to admit that it would appear that way.

One of the main reasons is because the way we really speak is a lot different than you learned in school, and there is no better example of this than the way Americans totally remove the “T” sound and pronounce “NT” as a flat “N” in words like “Internet,” “International,” and “Wanted.”

The omission of the “NT” sound, in addition to the American “T” Sound (pronouncing words like “Better” as “bedder”), are two of the most important American pronunciation rules and learning them will make an immediate impact on your listening comprehension and pronunciation. [leadplayer_vid id=”52E183339F88A”]

Full Transcript

Awww yeah! Welcome to another episode of RealLife TV! Today I’m going to teach you how Americans remove the T sound from words like “internet” and “international,” so sit back and have fun!

RealLife TV Intro

So last week we talked about the American T and how we change the T in words like “better” to a D (“bedder”), and the word “later, (“lader”). Today, we’re gonna talk about how e change the INT or the NT in words like “wanted,” “internet,” “international” to “wanned,” and “innernational.”

The rule is that when you have the stressed syllable followed by the NT sequence

Like in words like wanted or internet the NT just becomes a flat N. So like “innernet,”“wanned.”

NT Sounds Examples & Exercise

So let’s go through some examples here. I’m going to give you a moment to repeat after I say it to make this an interactive exercise. So, to start out:

  • Internet = “innernet” 
  • International = “innernational”
  • Wanted = “wanned”
  • Mental = “mennal”
  • Sentence = “sennance”
  • Advantage = “advannage”
  • Environmental = “environmennal”
  • Interaction = “inneraction”
  • Centimeter = “cennimeder”*
  • Center = “cenner”
  • Encounter = “encounner”
  • Dentist = “dennist”
  • Romantic = “romannic” 
  • Plenty = “plenny” 
  • Antibiotic = “annibiodik”*
  • Representative = “represenadive”*

* indicates the word uses also uses the American “T” to “D” sound (Flap “T”). Read more about this sound.

Removing the NT Sound When Pronouncing Gonna and Wanna

Okay, so now that you’ve had the chance to practice those, I’m gonna give you a couple of really common examples in the words “wanna” and “gonna,” which actually are a product of this rule.

So “want to” becomes the NT rule, “wanna,”“wanna,” and “going to,” the “G” is taken off when we pronounce it “goin.” “Going to” becomes “gonna,” “gonna.”

And now we’re gonna give you some examples, sentences, to give you a chance to use this.

More Practice: Combining NT words to Form Sentences

So, the first example:

“I wanted to take advantage of the internet to find a dentist”

Now slower: “I wanted to”, “ I wanted to take advantage of the internet to find a dentist”

“I wanted to take advantage of the internet to find a dentist”

The second example:

“There are plenty of international environmental representatives on the internet”

“There are plenty of international environmental representatives on the internet”

Together: “There are plenty of international environmental representatives on the internet”

Well I hope today’s lesson was helpful for you. I really enjoyed being here and teaching this lesson.

So, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the RealLife TV Youtube Channel and if you’d like to hear about other aspects of our project and benefit and meet people from all around the world, make sure you sign up for our mailing list.

Thank you very much and take care. Bye bye.

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If you would like to check out more dynamic RealLife pronunciation lessons, I recommend the following articles:

9 Comments

  1. Jorge Gimon on January 24, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Cool bro

  2. Abdulla Karim on January 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    good job thanks

  3. Châm Nguy?n on January 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    how great!

  4. Sergio Gajeiro Martins on January 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Thank!!!!!

  5. Nadia-nero on January 30, 2014 at 10:25 am

    COOL justin, I wish I could speak like u, since I am intersted in the USA accent ! cuz sometimes I get stuck in pronoucing the words in the amerian way and I just switch it into british (without the accent) haha

  6. Ali on February 23, 2014 at 3:45 am

    There are alot of words in USA make short cut

  7. Jesus Olles Gruas on June 5, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very useful Justin !!! I'm from Spain and sometimes I get lost when natives are speaking…

  8. Karen Newman Nelson on July 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Very Interesting. I'm American from California and living in Italy and do volenteer teaching of English. Until I read you post and saw your film I had forgotten or become so use to the way we talk that I wasn't aware of it. Lots of the things you say are from the newer generations and sot so true for all of us older generations I think. But the more I read the words and how you spell the way we pronounce the words, the more I realize this is what we do.. Just like the Italians do what they do what they call eating or swalling their words. They also, of course, have lots of ways to say things that can't be literaly translated… It has been fun and continues to be so, as I've struggled to learn Italian and now as a teacher of English, I see all the same hurdles they have to cross to learn our language…

  9. Highbrow'd Shakespeare on March 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    thanks so much for your training

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