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How To Pronounce The TH Sound

Updated: Nov 13

Is the TH sound difficult to pronounce?

It can be, but it depends on who you ask. Personally, I find the TH sound to be one of the easiest and most important sounds to learn in English. Let me tell you why.

Why is it easy to learn?

Unlike other sounds and concepts, such as vowels and intonation, the TH sound is easy to fix because all you need is the tip of your tongue. English distinguishes between two TH sounds: a voiceless TH and a voiced TH. Voiceless is just a fancy word to say there is no vibration in your throat when you make the sound. And voice means your vocal cords do vibrate when you make it.

For the voiceless version, follow these steps and you will hear overall improvement immediately:

  1. Put the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

  2. Put a little more pressure on your upper teeth.

  3. Blow air out of your mouth.

For the voiced version, follow these steps and you'll be good to go:

  1. Put the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

  2. Put more pressure on your upper teeth.

  3. Turn on your voice and make your vocal cords vibrate in your throat.

You can watch my YouTube video about the TH sound here.

Why is it an important sound to learn?

One of the main reasons why it's essential to learn this sound is because it's one of the most frequently occurring sounds in English. And another important reason to make sure we pronounce it correctly is because there are a lot of word pairs whose only difference in meaning lies in the TH sound. Take a look at the examples below.

As you can see in the image above, the only difference between these words is how you pronounce the TH sound. If you say it right, there will be no confusion, but if you say it wrong, you will change the meaning and that will throw off your audience. So make sure to study the TH sound to avoid awkward moments or embarrassing situations.

If you'd like to know how I can help you avoid these mistakes and improve your pronunciation in American English, click here to learn more about the services I provide to non-native speakers of English, and how we can work together to turn your fear of speaking English into confidence to achieve your professional and academic goals.

And download my FREE guide to spoken English here.

See you in the next post!


Pronunciation Coach

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