Speaking English Is What We Do! How to Pronounce ‘TH’ Sounds

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Thankful” is a word that comes to mind when you study at EC San Diego!

Students who learn English at EC San Diego – and at every ESL school around the world –  have trouble pronouncing English words with the common “TH” sound.

Do you get tongue-twisted over “the”, “thing”, “although”, and “thorough”? Well, not to worry! EC San Diego English teachers have a couple of tips for you to follow so that you can improve your pronunciation!

First thing to know:
The TH sound can be made by sticking out your tongue, placing the tip of your tongue between your upper and lower teeth, and blowing out. Say “ttthh”!

Now you have the basics of how to use your mouth to actually produce ‘this’ sound!

To continue, there are two kinds of TH sounds: voiced and voiceless.  To make a voiced TH sounds as in “the” and “although”, make sure that when you blow out, that sound is also made. You know you are making a voiced TH sound because when you touch your throat, you can feel a vibration!

To make a voiceless TH sounds as in “something” and “thorough”, make sure that when you blow out, no sound is made. You know you are making a voiceless TH sound because when you touch your throat, you cannot feel a vibration.

After practicing these two sounds as directed above, it’s time for some fun pronunciation practice with EC San Diego! The following tongue-twisters are a favorite way EC General English Course students practice speaking English out loud!

1.
King Thistle stuck a thousand thistles in the thistle of his thumb.
A thousand thistles King Thistle stuck in the thistle of his thumb.
If King Thistle stuck a thousand thistles in the thistle of his thumb,
How many thistles did King Thistle stick in the thistle of his thumb?

2.
One way to out-think others is to make them think you think you’re not really thinking what you’re trying to get them to think you think.

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