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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Do you Americans pronounce differently "can" and "can't"?

Today in my English class (at college), we saw that the British pronounce "can" with the "a" like "e" in "fender"; and "can't like the Brazilian (or Portuguese) sound "ã" (I was not able to figure one out in English). It is, a little different.

I know that this is almost nothing. And you can be sure that I ain't looking for having a native-like accent. Not at all. It's just knowledge and curiosity.

Tnx in antecipation.

Ie - B r a z i l

10 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    can is pronounced [kæn] (diagraph) when it's stressed (like in a short answer, yes I can), and [kən] (with schwa) when unstressed (as in "I can play tennis") and it works for both varieties of English

    The negative is different for British and American English since in BE it's pronounced [ka:nt] (with a latin a) and in AE [kænt] (with a diagraph)

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  • 1 decade ago

    CAN and CAN'T are in American English pronounced the same - the only difference (obviously) is the contraction 'T in the end which signifies the negative. Can't is short for CAN NOT and is just CAN T.

    Some people with accents do pronounce them differently, and they may be correct but the standard way is to spell and pronounce them the same.

    Source(s): English Major
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  • 1 decade ago

    No, they are pronounced not differently. Well, if you seek for the pronunciation it could vary if we compare the American and typical British English pronunciation. In American English "can" and "can't" and "cannot" ( meaning exactly the same) is with sound "a",which is pronounced as "a" in cat,hat,etc.( that is between "a" and "e"). While in British English the sound "a" is very near to the clear/ a/ as in Spanish, Italian languages, for example as in the word "bath" and then "can't " is pronounciated /'ka:nt/and "can" /'kan/. In brief, there is difference if we envisage American and British English.

    Have a great day!

    Source(s): ME
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  • 1 decade ago

    You are right in saying that the British pronounce "can't" differently from Americans and you are right about how it sounds. In American English the "a" in "can't" is like the "a" in "cat". In general, if you can barely hear it, it's affirmative, and if you can hear it slightly better it's negative! LOL.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In British English "can’t" is pronounced /ka:nt/, while in American English it is pronounced /kænt/ .

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We pronounce them both exactly the same. We use the "short" a sound, found in apple, cat, pat, hat, etc.

    (If this is the answer that you are looking for, please rate it at the end of the discussion. )

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  • 1 decade ago

    no its pronounced the same except with a "t" at the end of can't which stands for can-not

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  • Taivo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Americans pronounce them the same.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yes, the "can" is the same , on "can't" just add a t as in "tip"

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  • 1 decade ago

    come again

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