While coffee is certainly a popular choice, and hot chocolate is a delicious treat after a day in the snow, drinking hot tea is a long-lived tradition. In America, the tradition of drinking hot tea has been passed down from our British ancestors. But we have adopted our own traditions, not only in how we drink it, but even in the American pronunciation of hot tea.
One difference between the American and British pronunciation is in how we pronounce the T sounds at the end of hot and the beginning of tea. In British English, both T sounds will be very precisely and crisply pronounced, with a slight pause between the words: hot tea.
Americans, on the other hand, blend the two words together into one word, and in so doing, only pronounce one T sound. The first T is held and linked with the second T, and the resulting word sounds like: hotea.
Also, the British pronunciation of the vowel in hot uses a longer, more rounded o sound, while the American pronunciation uses the ah sound, or /a/, a shorter, more open-mouthed sound also used in words like father and stop.
This is the same sound you make when you take a sip of your comforting cup of hot tea and say, “Aahh” contentedly.
Both the British and American pronunciation of the final long E sound cause you to smile at the end of the word. Appropriate, don’t you think?
So, let’s put it all together and practice the American pronunciation of hot tea.
First, be sure to pronounce the H at the beginning of the word.
Next, say hot using the relaxed “aah” vowel.
Then, hold that first T sound, then release it as you say tea.
Finally, make a big smile so you get that long eee sound clearly at the end.
Now you can enjoy a warm drink while practicing the American pronunciation of hot tea! Aren’t you ready for a nice, relaxing break?
When I really want to treat myself, I snuggle under a blanket with a cup of chai or Mighty Leaf brand tea. What is your favorite brand or flavor? Let me know in the comments below; I may want to give it a try!
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