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Plosive Consonant Sounds

Plosive consonants are made by completely blocking the flow of air as it leaves the body, normally followed by releasing the air. English pronunciation contains 6 plosive phonemes: /p,b,t,d,k,g/:

The sounds /b,d,g/ are voiced; they are pronounced with vibration in the vocal cords. /p,t,k/ are voiceless; they are produced with air only. The voiceless plosives are often aspirated (produced with a puff of air) in English pronunciation.

Plosive Spellings

Common spellings for each plosive are underlined below:

/p/: purse
/b/: bell
/t/: talk, stopped
/d/: done, played
/k/: kite, cone, queen, chronic, excited
/g/: gone, exhaust

Glottal Stop [ʔ]

The voiceless alveolar plosive sound /t/ is often replaced with a voiceless glottal plosive in connected speech. This most frequently occurs when /t/ appears at the end of a syllable and the following sound is a consonant: