Dutch doesn’t have words that end in a D. Well, it does, but the pronunciation is often the same as a final T and they have a hard time distinguishing the two.
It’s a biggie for Dutch kiddies’ spelling tests: words ending in -t, -dt and -d can all be pronounced the same, so you have to think of the grammar. Rather like the difficulty many English speakers have with the homophones their, they’re and there. The same errors regularly sneak into Dunglish – and the spelling checker won’t catch them, of course (though Grammarly usually does, for example).
- Common examples include send-sent and build-built
- The big favourite is extend-extent. Erroneous phrases like “to what extend” are a Dunglish classic (especially given that “how much” is usually the better option anyway!)
- Other ones I’ve seen include thread-threat, vend-vent, bend-bent and hard-heart
- There’s not much difference between the Dutch short E and short A either. I had a colleague once who insisted Fred rhymed with prat…
Hey, that previous one was the hundredth post! A nice little milestone.
Prevalence: high. Usually leaving the D when the verb has declined to the T form.
Frequency: high. If you’ve got a blind spot for it…
Native: no. We simply hear the difference: a final D is vocalized. (There are a few cases where two variants are allowed, like burned-burnt or learned-learnt, but the pronunciation difference is still there!)