The pronunciation of ‘th’

English with a Smile

There are two ways to pronounce the letter combination “th.”

Both sounds are formed in the same way:

Put your tongue between your teeth and breathe. th

The difference between the two sounds is this:

1 In words like mother, they or this, the th-sound uses your vocal cords. In your dictionary this sound is written ð.

2 In words like birth, think or thanks, the th-sound doesn’t use your vocal cords.

(use only your breath). In your dictionary this sound is written Ɵ.

Have a look at this excellent video:

You should practise this yourself in front of a mirror.

There aren’t any rules to predict which of the two sounds you should use. Sorry!

As far as I know, there is only one word that can be said with either ð or Ɵ, and that is “with.” British people say “with” with ð, whereas Americans say “with” with…

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