The ending ‘th’ in English originated because both of the letters require only air passing through the mouth in order to pronounce. Essentially, they make the same sound although they are different letters. Despite it’s seeming simplicity, this ending is one of the most commonly mispronounced combinations in the English language.
For example, you often hear Europeans and Asians pronounce ‘the’ as ‘da,’ ‘zhee,’ ‘duh,’ or a number of other similar concoctions. The meaning comes across, but they struggle with the pronunciation because their native tongue has no similar mouth movement.
To correctly pronounce the ending ‘th’ in English, place the tip of the tongue behind the top front teeth. When moving your mouth towards the pronunciation, you will notice friction between the tongue and teeth. A small amount of resistance is often present between the top of the front of the tongue and the tooth ridge as well. It is important to keep the lips relaxed throughout the process so that they don’t interfere with the air moving through your mouth.
Watch this video and try to mimic what the instructor is doing:
The ending ‘th’ in English can be mastered quite quickly if you write out a few examples on your own (or in a free English lesson) and then say them out loud over and over. You can start by using simple word like ‘bath’ and ‘math’ and work your way up to longer and more difficult words until you feel confident enough to write a fresh sentence on your own.
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