Decay times of acoustic modes of a trapezoidal cavity (TC modes) with an inclined wall are studied. Each cavity wall is successively assigned an impedance surface and the other five walls are rigid. The decay times are obtained from the coupling between rigid-walled modes of the rectangular cavity (RC modes) that bounds the trapezoidal cavity. Two coupling mechanisms are identified, namely, the damping coupling and the geometrical coupling. The former is related to the coupling of RC modes at the impedance surface, while the latter is related to the coupling of RC modes at the inclined wall. Both mechanisms include the same volume coupling where RC modes couple throughout the trapezoidal cavity. When the impedance surface is at either of the two trapezoidal walls, the grouping of TC modes with same decay times and the decay time variation with the wall inclination are determined only by the damping coupling. When the surface is at any of the other rectangular walls, both the damping and geometrical couplings are at work. This paper provides an understanding of how the inclined wall and the impedance surface location affect the TC-mode grouping, and what determines the decay time variation with the inclination. (c) 2006 Acoustical Society of America.