Pronunciation: mistook


Senior Member
Usually the word 'mistake' sounds like /mɪˈsdeɪk/.
But what about its past tense 'mistook'?
Does it sound like /mɪˈstʊk/ or /mɪˈsdʊk/?
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I have never heard of /mɪˈsdeɪk/. I'm wondering if you are mixing the phonetic alphabet (IPA) with Mandarin pinyin (where <d> represents an unaspirated /t/).

    The syllable separation for me is clearly mis-take rather than mi-stake. In fast speech it's possible that the proximity of the /s/ causes the /t/ to lose its aspiration.

    AmE voicing of /t/ is only found in /t/s at the end of stressed syllables.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I agree with #4. SeekEngish is correctly hearing the 't' in "mistake" as the letter written 'd' in pinyin. In Chinese, the key difference between 't' and 'd' is aspirated/unaspirated. In English, the key difference between 't' and 'd' is unvoiced/voiced.

    At the start of a word 't' is aspirated (plosive) unvoiced //. In the middle of a word (in an unstressed syllable) it is unaspirated unvoiced /t/ (matching pinyin 'd'). To English speakers it is "still a T not a D" because it is unvoiced.

    In AE (but not BE) this /t/ becomes voiced /d/ when it is the only consonant between two vowels ("beater", "butter").

    English dictionaries typically use /t/ for both /t/ and //.
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