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Lesson 9 - Nasal sounds

/t/ and /d/

/t/ and /d/ are

  • Alveolar (made with on the alveolar ridge – the lump in the mouth behind the teeth),  
  • Plosive (makes a complete stop to the flow of air).
  • /t/ is voiceless (no vibration in the throat),  /d/ is voiced (there is vibration in the throat)

Like all plosive pairs, it’s very difficult to control voicing in such a short sound. Instead, the most important difference is with the breath afterwards. This is explained fully in the videos.

It’s also really important to note that these sounds change a lot in connected speech.

Video 1: The difference between /t/ and /d/ at the ends of words in pairs of words:



neat / need

beat / bead

feet / feed

eat / Eid


sit / Sid

hit / hid

kit / kid


bet / bed

set / said

wet / wed


bat / bad

cat / cad

hat / had


mutt / mud

cut / cudd

but / bud


Bart / bard

cart / card

tart / lard


not / nod

lot / rod

jot / wad

pot / pod

rot / rod


bought / bored

caught / cord

sought / sword

port / poured


root / rude

cute / queued

boot / booed


hut / hood

gut / good

put / pud (= pudding)


Bert / bird

hurt / heard

curt / curd



goat / goad

coat / code

rote / road


light / lied

bite / bide

right / ride

white / wide


late / laid

bait / bade

fate / fade

mate / made


mount / mound

pout / proud

lout / loud

count / round


point / void

adroit / avoid

moist / buoyed

In this video there are exercises to help you with these words in full sentences.

Video 2: The difference between /t/ and /d/ at the end of words in sentences:

  1. The white egg.
  2. The wide egg.
  3. The door is white.
  4. The door is wide.
  5. That’s a cart.
  6. That’s a card.
  7. This is a pot.
  8. This is a pod.
  9. This is a coat.
  10. This is a code.
  1. The white knight made me proud.
  2. The wide knight made me proud.
  3. The cat in the mud and the bird called Bert.
  4. I heard the goat eat the bed.
  5. Count the round ones.
  6. I need to feed my herd of cows.
    my feet are hurting because of the cows
  7. Sid the cat sat on the light coloured cart and purred.
    Sit the sad cat on the card.
  8. We queued on the road in the wet weather.
  9. The bridesmaids looked cute.