Glottal stop in 'möchten'?

I've heard the word 'möchten' pronounced both with a definite 't' sound, and also without the 't', I think replacing it with a very small glottal stop, like Londoners do when they 'drop the t', like if they said the word 'limiting', either with or without the t sound.

Am I right in thinking that this is what I am hearing, can anyone tell me? For instance one of the pronunciations for this word in forvo dot com is without an actual t sound. Also, how common is this in Germany, to drop a 't' from the middle of the word, and is there some general rule of when it may or may not work? I presume it wouldn't work for 'möchte', because it just sounds weird to drop the t there. Is that right?


March 21, 2018


I'm not sure what you mean. I hear a "t" in all examples on forvo, just one is not pronouncing the last "e" ("möcht'n") (see So it's definitely not like in the English "often". (Native German)

March 21, 2018

usually we do not drop the t at all. might be some people pronounce it more clear then others but it actually has to be there. otherwise it is simply wrong (native german as well) ps. i just listened to the examples on forvo. just like Max.Em i hear the t in every single one of them.

March 21, 2018

I think Rungus is right (native German here, too) and in the fourth example the 't' is replaced by a glottal stop. Just try to speak 'möchtn' without the 'e' but with a clear 't' and I guess you will hear the difference.

Funny thing is, that I wasn't even aware so far that I often don't speak the 't' when saying 'möchten' - so I learnt something new about speaking my own language :-)

And you are right, Rungus, that the 't' isn't dropped in 'möchte'.

March 21, 2018

I just tried saying it myself (native German) and you are right, it does sound a bit like a glottal stop, I wasn't aware myself either. I don't pronounce the 'e' which leaves the 'tn' sound a bit like a glottal stop + n (or maybe a bit like 'dn'?), although I would have sworn that the 't' is not dropped. :) The 't' is fully pronounced in 'möchte' though.

March 22, 2018

Uh, for me there is quite some difference between a dropped t in often and the t in möchten, even if you "swallow" the e. Compare to this: for example. Of course, the t is there in möchten even with a mute e, but less pronounced.

March 21, 2018

The 't' in 'möchten' isn't dropped completely but it is replaced by a glottal stop. At least I often pronounce the word like this and hear this from others, too.

But maybe this is different in different regions of Germany.

March 21, 2018

I would guess that we pronounce it pretty much in the same way, but it's hard to describe in words. I just think that "glottal stop" is misleading here, since in English or e.g. Danish this means replacing the t by a little break, and even the German "Glottisschlag" is rather a break like in Spiegelei (Spiegel'ei), where it's the onset of the last e, in vereisen (ver'eisen), where it allows us to distinguish from verreisen, in beachten (be'achten) or in nearly all words starting with a vowel ('Axt).

PS: to add some listening examples, try There are two different real speakers for each occurrence, one say "möchten", the other says "möchtn". My usual pronunciation is like the second, but I claim that there is still a bit of t-sound, even if it's not done with the tip of the tongue, but rather back, with the air escaping through the nose.

March 21, 2018

maybe it is a regional thing... i have never heard it though

March 21, 2018
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