Is this modern English pronunciation or just a bad habit of mine?

To all native English speakers out there: My pronunciation of the word “something” always collapses to something that sounds like /’samʔm/. Is that OK so far - at least in casual situations - or should I get rid of it, because it doesn't sound fancy but creepy?

NB: The symbol 'ʔ' is the "glottal stop", a sound generated by suddenly and for a very short time interrupting the airflow deep in the throat. English is full of iʔ.

Apr 12, 2019 4:01 PM
Comments · 5

Why don't you record yourself saying a sentence including the word 'something'?

Post a link to it, and then we can give our opinions on whether it sounds good or not.

April 12, 2019

    try to say two separate words "some thing'' but say them a little faster and closer together as if it were one compound word. "something".

If you drop off the final "g" that will be how many people say it, but it is wrong and considered bad pronunciation.


April 12, 2019
I would comment, but I didn't learn the phonetic symbols when I was in school, long ago
April 12, 2019

I do it too!

My RP accent/pronunciation changes violently from lots of huffing, puffing  and frothing at the mouth as I spit out every T and TH with the greatest of clarity (to let everyone know it's thoroughly RP/BBC) …. to a sort of rather pained, collapsed and contracted moan (lots of syllables vanish into the ether). So 'something' will either blast you in the face with saliva, or will collapse into 'summin.' (with a kind of soft glottal stop, perhaps).

Oddly, both those efforts sound RP.... because it's all well disguised by the rest of the sentence. I slither it in without you even noticing!

I have even tried saying 'summat' in a sort of RP way. Doesn't really work though. (For those of you who don't know, 'summat' is another way of saying 'something.'  It's a regional thing .)

Best advice to Jochen and myself (I like giving myself advice): let's ask our listeners what they think we said. If they say, "You said you wanted SOMETHING  to eat, so  let's get a pizza!" … well, there really isn't a problem, is there! They understood!

April 12, 2019

Hi there, 

I think it's best to stick to the whole word... sometimes we skip through the word saying the likes of 'summin' or somethin'... but not a lot - it's something you might do when you're speaking with your closest friends or close family. Hope this helps!


April 12, 2019