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Unit 2: English In A Minute
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Session 59

Sam explains two ways to pronounce 'th' in this English In A Minute.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Pronunciation of 'th'

Have you ever wanted to know how to pronounce the 'th' sound in English? Learn how with Sam in this English In A Minute.

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Sam

Let's start with the shape of the mouth.

For both sounds, we put our tongue between our teeth and push air out between them.

The difference is that the first one (ð) is voiced, which means we use our vocal cords

and the second one (θ) is unvoiced, which means we don't use our vocal cords.

OK, try this:

Voiced - vibrations.

Unvoiced - no vibrations.

Can you feel the difference?

Now let's practice with some common words you already know:

this, thing, though, through, mother, birthday, clothes, fourth, bathe, bath.

And of course it helps to put them in a sentence:

I never sunbathe, but I love a bath.

But remember to say them out loud so you're practicing the pronunciation.

 

Pronunciation of 'th'

th (ð) (θ)

For both sounds, we put our tongue between our teeth and push air out between them.

However, there is a difference.

th (ð)

The pronunciaition of th in words such as this is voiced, which means we use our vocal cords. We can feel a vibration.

  • father
  • weather
  • breathe 

th (θ)

The pronunciaition of th in words such as through is unvoiced, which means we don't use our vocal cords. We can't feel a vibration.

  • breath
  • three 
  • thin

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