Alveolar consonants are consonant sounds that are produced with the tongue close to or touching the ridge behind the teeth on the roof of the mouth.

Boy speaking with letters appearing from mouth

The name comes from alveoli - the sockets of the teeth.

The consonant sounds /t/, /n/ and /d/ are all alveolar consonants.

In the classroom
Alveolar consonants exist in many languages, including Spanish, Italian, French and German. Learners can practise these in minimal pairs such as ‘tent' and ‘dent'.

Further links:


Submitted by BRM on Fri, 07/31/2020 - 17:16

I would like to add /s/, /z/, /l/. Also, /r/ might be considered as alveolar, although some might say it is a post-alveolar sound, when it is articulated as a retroflex.

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

See our publications, research and insight