TH Consonant Sounds
ð (the, father, them)
θ (think, birthday, south)
Pronunciation, Lesson 30
the TH consonant sounds
are studied together because they share the same spelling and are made
in the same part of the mouth. There are two TH consonant sounds
One is voiced
and the other is unvoiced
In this lesson, you will learn and practice the differences between
these two English sounds.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
How to pronounce the TH consonant
The TH consonant sounds
are the only pair of sounds in English that share the same spelling.
They also take the same mouth shape.
The voiceless (unvoiced)
can be found in English words such as th
, and both
The voiced TH
can be found in English words such as th
er, and breath
Voiced and voiceless sounds
What are voiced
sounds? Let's review.
In the English language, we use many voiced
sounds. That means
that the vocal cords
to make the sound.
These are some of the voiced
When a sound is voiceless
, the vocal
cords do not vibrate
when you make the sound. Instead,
you release air out of your mouth to make the sound.
These are some of the voiceless
To make the voiced and unvoiced TH
, place the tip of your
tongue between your top and bottom teeth. It should not stick out very
far. Then blow
air through the space between your tongue and your top teeth. You also
blow air through the top teeth. This makes the unvoiced
). It is a natural
When you add your voice, you make the voiced TH sound
It is a buzzing sound similar to the Z
but with a different tongue position.
Sometimes your tongue will not stick through your top and bottom teeth
to make the voiced TH
. When linking words together,your tongue is
sometimes placed right behind your top teeth.
Let's practice these two sounds with Rachel from Rachel's English:
Have you watched the video? Good! Let's practice a few more words.
Because the voiced and
voiceless TH sounds
share the exact same spelling, it is difficult to know how to pronounce
new words that have the TH spelling. There are more words in English
with the voiceless TH sound than the voiced TH sound.
You should use a dictionary
or online pronunciation guide
to learn the pronunciation of
new vocabulary words.
voiceless TH sound: θ
voiceless TH sound
words aloud. Remember that this TH
is not voiced. Your vocal cords
do not vibrate when you make this sound. Make sure you are only using
make the sound.
Voiceless TH at the beginning of a word:
Voiceless TH in the middle of a word:
Voiceless TH at the end of a word:
voiced TH sound: ð
Now, let's practice the voiced
. Remember to use air and your voice to
make this buzzing sound.
Voiced TH at the beginning of a word:
The voiced TH sound is common in English pronouns
Voiced TH in the middle of a word:
Voiced TH at the end of a word:
practice the sounds side-by-side
Remember to voice the words in the green boxes
and use only air for the
words in the blue boxes!
Now say these sentences out loud.
are in blue
Use only air to make these sounds.
are in green
Use air and your voice to make these buzzing sounds.
1) I th
it is Th
2) It is his th
3) You can clean your teeth
with a th
should ask th
is bigger th
boys will be th
10) My broth
is warmer in th
Have you finished this lesson? Don't worry if you don't get it all
right the first time. The TH
sounds can be difficult to learn. If you
want to review this lesson, you
to the top of the page.
Keep practicing the words and
to master these sounds.
Let's move on...
List of Lessons
Lesson 01: International
Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
Lesson 02: Word
Stress and Syllables
Lesson 03: Long E
Lesson 04: Short I
Lesson 05: UH Sound
OO Sound (moon,
Lesson 07: Short E
sound (pen, bed)
Lesson 08: Schwa
Sound (the, about)
Lesson 09: UR Sound (turn, learn)
Lesson 10: OH Sound (four, store)
Lesson 11: Short A
Sound (cat, fat)
Lesson 12: UH Sound (but, luck)
Lesson 13: Soft A
Sound (arm, father)
Lesson 14: Long O
Lesson 15: Long A
Sound (say, pain, make)
Lesson 16: Short O
Sound (not, off, socks)
Lesson 17: Diphthong
(a combination of two vowel sounds)
Lesson 18: P Sound
(cup, punch, pull) and B sound (cub, bunch, bull)
Lesson 19: The Nasal
Sounds (M, N, NG)
Lesson 20: F Sound (four, lift, graph, tough) and V Sound (love, knives, grave, vine)
Lesson 21: W Sound (wow, quit, where)
Lesson 22: R Sound (red, sorry, write)
Lesson 23: H Sound (he, behind, who)
Lesson 24: T Sound (top, it, later) and D Sound (do, had, made)
Lesson 25: S Sound (sit, box, cats) and Z Sound (zip, buzz, boys)
Lesson 26: K Sound (kid, talk, black) and G Sound (go, big, dog)
Lesson 27: L Sound:
Light L & Dark L (tall,
Lesson 28: Y
Consonant Sound (yes,
Lesson 29: CH Sound (China, century, watch) and J Sound (Germany, educate , judge)
Lesson 30: TH
Consonant Sounds – voiced TH sound (the,
father, them) and voiceless
(unvoiced) TH sound (think,
Lesson 31: SH
(shop, chef, special) and ZH (usual, massage, Asia)
Lesson 32: T and TT Sounds (true T sound, D sound, stop sound, silent T)
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