Stopped T and -ATE Diagram and Explanation

The -ATE Ending

When –ate is an ending in longer words, it has two pronunciations.
If the word is a noun or adjective, the –ate sounds like –it, as in corporate
If the word is a verb, the -ate sounds like –ate, as in generate
Many words with this ending can be either a noun/adjective or a verb, and the different pronunciations show which is which. Here are a few examples. The word in bold is pronounced it, and the underlined word is pronounced ate.
We need to appropriate funds to the appropriate departments. 
Please estimate the overtime hours you will need, and then send the estimate to me by email. 
He’s a new business associate, but I don’t like him. I try not to associate with him. 
Exception: When additional endings are added after -ate, this rule does not apply, as in moderator or aggregator
Note: this rule only applies to longer words. Simple, one-syllable words are pronounced -ate, as in matefate or rate.

Stopped T

Americans also reduce T’s through the stopped T sound. We use this when a word ends in a vowel + T or NT, as in great, budget, or document, and when this is the last word in a phrase or sentence. To make this sound, put your tongue in the T position, but do not make the T. Simply stop the sound. Like the T and N rules, Americans use the stopped T all the time, especially in common expressions like that’s great! However, when needing to be clear, a light T sound is used. 
Stopped T’s often appear in compound words as well. Examples are outlet, setback or network. 
You will often hear stopped T’s when the suffix -ly is added as in quietly or conveniently. This is with a vowel + T or NT and then -LY.
Here is the tricky part. If the word is in the middle of a sentence and the next word begins with a vowel, the rule will switch to T = D or T after N. Here are a couple of examples. Words with stopped T are in bold. Words with T = D are underlined. Words with T and N are in italics.
Thanks for suggesting that idea. You made an interesting point.
The main point is that we must work harder to manage the budget.
* Words with the -ate ending will have a stopped T sound as well since the E is silent in both pronunciations.
750 Business WordsStopped T Main Page
* is a part of I.E. Tutoring, Seattle, WA, which holds the copyright to all materials. Subscribers may print images and pages for individual use, but not for commercial use or distribution. *

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