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This combination is really hard to me. This is an example:

Knowing what to check is just the start to process.

Can anyone help?

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I find myself not pronouncing the "t" in the word "just" when I read the sentence you have written. The next word "the" is pronounced properly. –  Irene Mar 20 '12 at 19:48
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

In many (most?) dialects in both the US and the UK, "just the" would in normal speech would be pronounced [ʤʌsðə] before a consonant, or [ʤʌsðiː] before a vowel. That is, the 't' would be elided.

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Upvoting because I'm one of the many (most?), not because I actually know and agree that either word is correct (for all I know, it should really be a few! :) –  FumbleFingers Mar 20 '12 at 20:24
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I would not say that the /t/ is totally unpronounced, e.g. in "a big loss the previous year" vs. "she lost the love of her life", the /t/ in 'lost' would be realized as a brief glottal stop or pause in the frication of the [s] before the [ð] begins, whereas in loss the the [s] would glide directly into [ð] without any pause. –  nohat Mar 20 '12 at 20:40
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Either way, for a non-native the guidance to elide it is not bad, I would venture; brief glottal stops or changes in frication or stridency are hard to learn or teach. –  Mark Beadles Mar 20 '12 at 20:50
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It's normal Fast Speech Rules for the /-t-/ in a /-stð-/ cluster to disappear, since you can't move your tongue from sibilant alveolar /s/ to interdental fricative /ð/ without passing through dental /t/ territory. So, don't bother to try and pronounce it just because it's spelled that way. That way likes Cholmondeley and Madness. –  John Lawler Mar 20 '12 at 22:04
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@Mark Beadles I do really wish there were a free resource like COCA with phonetic data that would enable a quick and dirty analysis. –  nohat Mar 20 '12 at 22:49
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It's quite normal to omit a sound in this and in similar combinations of words. It's called elision.

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