I am talking American English now. Usually when a "t" comes at the end of the word "wheat" or before "n" or "m" sounds as in "mountain" and "treatment", the t sound is not pronounced and i pronounced as a glottal stop instead. Can I do the same with the word "netflix"?

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    Yes. The /t/ would go, except for an optional gloʔʔal stop. Mar 24, 2014 at 4:34
  • @JohnLawler You mean you could pronounce it or it could have a gloʔʔl no? You can't say /nɛflɪks/ in Gen Am can you? Oct 4, 2014 at 20:14
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    I can't, at any rate. The usual fate of /t/ before a cluster in my speech is to become [ʔ]. Oct 4, 2014 at 21:08
  • Yes, t can be glottal stop before a consonant, and the f following the t is a consonant. (It's not before a "cluster" that it happens, John.)
    – Greg Lee
    Oct 15, 2015 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


In certain parts of America (but not all), you can use a glottal stop for a t in Netflix, as well as many double t's (kitten, button), terminal t's (but, net, fit, cat, pet, cot, bought). This will net you some strange looks in your travels, though. Being from New England originally, this was standard to my ear, but I had to change it as I moved around because of the unwanted attention it called to itself. If you can avoid it, it might to be to your benefit; those who use glottal stops will hardly notice it, and those who hear t's will find your English good.

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    It's very common before syllabic 'n', as in kitten, and I don't think it would be unusual in Netflix. My impression is that it is unusual in much of the U.S. at the ends of words, like but, net, fit, cat. Mar 24, 2014 at 13:55
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    I live in Washington and it's just jarring whenever I hear someone use a glottal stop for a 't'. I pronounce kitten... kit-ten whereas ki'un sounds weird like the person forgot there was a 't' in the word or refused to pronounce it for religious reasons. In one episode of TMZ, a reporter used the glottal stop 't' and Harvey stopped the show until she pronounced it with the 't' intact.
    – user93449
    Oct 4, 2014 at 17:31
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    I don't know, I use a small or soft glottal stop in kitten. Not to do so sounds odd to me, no matter what part of the US you're from: almost like "kiddin'" short for kidding. Or else you really do make the double-t: kit-tin, which sounds like someone is badly attempting a posh English accent. Sure, it's not a full Cockney glottal, but there is definitely some stopping at the back of the throat before moving to the n-sound. What @Peter Shor says sounds right to me. Oct 14, 2015 at 23:44
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    It's t before a consonant that becomes glottal stop, for General American. Not "double t" (which is only double in the spelling), and not "terminal" t (unless the next word begins with a consonant).
    – Greg Lee
    Oct 15, 2015 at 0:07
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    @medica, sound changes depend on surrounding sounds, not surrounding letters. There is only one [t] in your example words, not two, and the following sound is a consonant, not a vowel: it's a syllabic [n]. So this [t] is subject to replacement by glottal stop. I'm from Ohio, and I do have glottal stop in "kitten button flatten", etc. I just wrote out a more thorough description of how glottal stop gets into these words, in case you're interested; see my answer here: linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/14666/…
    – Greg Lee
    Oct 15, 2015 at 2:11

The specific environments in which /t/ can become [ʔ] in english varies slightly from dialect to dialect. At the beginnings of words /t/ almost always becomes [tʰ]. In dialects without [ʔ] or [ɾ], the sound almost always remains [t] anywhere else. Before a consonant or before a pause in speach, /t/ may become [ʔ]. However, in between vowels is more complicated. Some dialects will use [ɾ], while others use [ʔ]. This has lead to homophones between "latter" and "ladder" as /d/ can become [ɾ] in any environment other than at the start of a word.

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