I read in American accent book that when a "t" is followed by an "r" sound, the "t" changes and becomes an almost "ch" sound.

"To create this sound correctly, say "ch" as in chain, but just make the tip of the tongue a bit more tense when it touches the gum ridge, and focus on creating a stop of air."

Is this true? For example when we have this phrase/command:

Try it again.

Is the "tr" pronounced as mentioned above? I would also like to know (if you are kind enough) to tell me which words should I stress more when I pronounce the phrase: "Try it again". Are both "try" and "again" stressed?

Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • 5
    This is not completely true. I believe both [tr] and [tʃr], as well as the entire spectrum of in-between sounds, are used by Americans. Consistently not flapping the /t/ in bitter and similar words may mark you as a foreigner, but I don't think either of these pronunciations will. Apr 1, 2015 at 17:36
  • I know what you mean in "bitter". When the T is between two vowels I use the flap T. I was not sure about the TR though. When you pronounce the phrase: "Try it again" is there any word with higher in pitch,more stress? Apr 1, 2015 at 17:40
  • I think you're getting led astray by the stress thing -- non-native English speakers tend to overstress stress. And I suspect that some people, due to their linguistic background, may simply not hear the "tr" sound very well, even when it's clearly there to a native English speaker.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 1, 2015 at 17:54
  • I put high stress on the second syllable of "again" and lower on "try". Is it okay? clyp.it/qbzweai3 Apr 1, 2015 at 18:07
  • 3
    Your pitch sounds a bit Swedish, but the stress levels are perfectly accurate. For some more detail about the /tr/ cluster, see this question. Apr 1, 2015 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Hmm. No idea why the author of that book made such a big deal about it. I think your TR sound in the clip was fine.

The intonation and rhythm in your clip were lovely. Try and again both got extra stress, but again got some extra punch.

I do have a suggestion for making your sample sentence a little easier for people to understand. I would make the vowel in try more of a diphthong. With a bit of an exaggeration of my idea, I think I can notate it for you without fancy symbols (which I'm not up on anyway): Try yit again. Yours sounded almost Tra it again.

For one-on-one speech, what you did in the recording would be fine. But if you're giving a scientific talk, for example, it would be helpful to have a less pure vowel sound in try. This would make it easier for people to understand you.

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