An ELT Glossary : Glottal Stops/Plosives

A glottal stop (also called a glottal plosive) is formed by briefly closing the vocal cords (the glottis) allowing air to build up behind them and then releasing it. It is not a phoneme of English (ie never makes a meaning difference) but is frequent  in connected speech. It occurs, for example, in the expression uh-oh, between the two syllables.

The IPA (International Phonetic Association) symbol for the glottal stop is [ʔ].

The glottal stop is also a common allophone of the unvoiced alveolar plosive /t/, particularly in certain varieties of English such as London ("Cockney") and Estuary English. However, it is a "normal" feature of pronunciation in certain contexts, and used in all varieties. It may also act as an allophone of /p/ and /k/

If you're not sure what it sounds like you can hear it here 

Further Reading

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