Pronunciation of "To" in ''I'm going to the United States''

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I've been watching American English videos and I recently noticed that in casual everyday pronunciation of "to" in, for example, "I'm going to the United States'' the "t" disappears and the "o" sounds like a schwa (ə): ''I'm goinə the United States''. My question: Am I correct?

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Määränpää

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    I guess in a combination of "n" + "flap t", the unstressed "t" is extremely weak, even weaker than between vowels:

    goin' to the United States

    California dreamin' on such a winter's day

    fun to watch
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    ''I'm goinə the United States''.
    How many syllables do you hear? Is it three ("go-in-ə") or two ("goin-ə") or just one ("goinə")?

    It seems unlikely to me that the T is omitted. But if you are expecting the T sound you hear at the start of a sentence ("Tommy hit me!") you will not hear it in "going to the". In that mid-word non-stressed context, T would be softly pronounced, and could sound like a D or an unvoiced D.

    In AE, there are four different pronunciations of T. As a native speaker, I never noticed this until I joined this forum and looked for answers to questions about pronunciation. But the information is available in wikipedia and other websites.
     
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