Taming the Tricky ‘Th’

Do you find yourself stumbling over the “th” sound in English?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone! Many English learners struggle with pronouncing this tricky sound.

But with a little practice and perseverance, you can conquer it. 

Give it a try

  1. Your tongue should lightly touch the top row of your teeth, without pressing too hard. And now lightly blow air while producing the sound.

  2. Practise saying words with the “th” sound while looking in a mirror to make sure your tongue is in the correct position.

  3. Start with minimal pairs—words that differ by only one sound. This exercise can be helpful in distinguishing between the two types of “th” sounds: the voiceless “th” (as in “think”) and the voiced “th” (as in “that”). Practise saying minimal pairs such as “thin” and “then,” “think” and “sink,” or “thick” and “tick” to train your ears and refine your pronunciation.

Keep practising, and before you know it, you’ll have mastered one of the trickiest aspects of English pronunciation!

And now say after me, “Did you know that the Smiths wear thin clothes throughout the winter months?

Does it sound anything like this?

Pronouncing the th 

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Foto Christine Sparks

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