Learn English – How to pronounce “often”


At the website where people pronounce words from their languages, the page for the word often gives 15 accounts. 13 people pronounced it with silent t (ofen), and only 2 with strong t (ofTen).

But all ESL teachers I know (U.S. native speakers) pronounce it with strong t (ofTen).

What is the right (standard) pronunciation?

Best Answer

OED has

Pronunciation:  Brit. /ˈɒf(ə)n/ , /ˈɒft(ə)n/ , U.S. /ˈɔf(ə)n/ , /ˈɑft(ə)n/

I was taught (yes, really) that the Standard pronunciation did not have the t in the middle, and adding that in was dialectal. That's supported by OED's listing of [no t] before the version including t. Pronouncing the t isn't incorrect, though.