Lesson 10 – Consonants /h/, /ʔ/, /ɾ/ (glottal stop and flap t)

In this lesson we will finish the consonants. There are just three more to do.


Review the American English phonetic chart:

The /h/ sound

This sound is made from your throat (glotis). Don’t say it from the back of your mouth as /x/ or /χ/.


  • hear
  • he
  • hat
  • have
  • ahead
  • hold
  • hip hop


  • a helping hand
  • hardy har har
  • ha ha ha
  • heh heh heh
  • Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!
  • Happy Holidays



The /ʔ/ sound

This is called a glottal stop. You make it by stopping the air at your glottis (vocal chords).



  • uh-oh
  • huh-uh
  • button
  • kitten
  • rotten
  • apartment
  • put
  • that


  • might be late
  • meet you tomorrow
  • it walks



The /ɾ/ sound

This is called an alveolar tap or flap t.



  • water
  • bottle
  • better
  • little
  • tittle
  • daughter
  • thirty
  • forty


  • writer, rider
  • title, tidal


  • water bottle
  • a lot of little people
  • itty bitty spider
  • about a day or two

Tongue twister

Betty Botter bought a bit of butter;
“But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter!
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter.
But a bit o’ better butter
Will make my batter better.”
Then she bought a bit o’ butter
Better than the bitter butter,
Made her bitter batter better.
So ’twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit o’ better butter.

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