How do you pronounce "it would", "it was", etc. in American English? That is, how do you pronounce the T when it precedes a semi-vowel such as "w"? Is there a stop T or not when the words are pronounced fast?

I know, when followed by a vowel, it's a flap T (as in "it is"), and, when followed by a consonant, it's a full T (as in "it looks"). Yet, I can't put my finger on this.

  • What do you mean by Full-T? I doubt that's what's used in it looks. Oct 29, 2017 at 14:32
  • "It looks" sounds like a stop T. By full t I mean the T as in twirl, tweak etc
    – Daniel
    Oct 29, 2017 at 14:49
  • 2
    Say "it would" or "it was" or whatever very slowly and distinctly, then say it more and more rapidly. What happens?
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 9, 2020 at 19:14
  • 1
    I asked this ages ago as I was still carefully studying the phonetics of the language. I'm happy to say it was not unsuccessful. The t here is not pronounced. There's some kind of stop there following the initial vowel, but there's no 't'. (I'm specifically saying this with 'standard' North American English in mind. Someome somewhere might of course pronounce it differently)
    – Daniel
    Dec 9, 2020 at 20:30
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    Can someone convert ih-twood and ih-twuhz to IPA?
    – StephenS
    Dec 10, 2020 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


In many dialects, /t/ before a consonant (including w) is pronounced [ʔt] or even [ʔ], that is, glottalized or preglottalized.

(Edit to clarify: that is, /t/ before a consonant, except for initial /t/ which is not glottalized.)

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