Session 3

Our journey continues! In this session we visit two more of the world's great cities. We explore some special rules for using articles and Emma teaches us how to pronounce them correctly.

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Activity 3

Pronunciation Practice

Articles in spoken English

Do you know how to pronounce the articles a, an and the correctly? Emma's here to tell you everything you need to know.

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Hello, Emma here with a few tips on how to pronounce articles.

In natural spoken English, we usually pronounce 'a' or 'an' with a weak vowel sound /ə/ (uh). It sounds similar to the vowel sound in 'fun', and not the vowel sound in 'cat'. For example: a holiday, a ticket, an umbrella.

We also pronounce 'the' with this weak sound /ə/ (uh) before consonants - the doctor, the party - and before words that start with a y (/j/) sound, like the uniform, The European Union.

But when 'the' is before a vowel sound, we pronounce the with the long 'ee' sound (iː) like in 'me': the afternoon, the ice, the open door, the upstairs rooms.

Got that? Now you say them...

'a' (uh)... 'the' (uh)... and 'the' (thee).

See you soon.


Download the pronunciation tips audio (size: 3.6MB).

End of Session 3

We hope you're clearer about how to use articles and how to say them. In the next Session we'll visit another country - and you'll put your learning into action. See you then!