Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hi. I’m Denise. Thank you for watching my video. Today I’m going to talk about two sounds made with the letters t and h. These two sounds are /θ/ and /ð/. I will talk about how to make these sounds. I will talk about some common mistakes when making these sounds. I will give you some practice words and ask you to practice with me some words with confusing sounds. I will talk about how to know whether you should make the /θ/ sound or the /ð/ sound. And I’ll give you some examples of words with each of these two sounds. Then finally, I will give you some sentences to practice using these sounds. So let me begin by talking about how to make these sounds. Both of these sounds are made with the tip of our tongue between our upper and lower teeth. And it’s really only the very tip of the tongue. It’s not the entire tongue. Your tongue should not be protruding far between your teeth, so it should not be like this. That’s way too far. Even half of that is too far. It’s not like that. It’s just a very very tiny bit, just the tip. You don’t see my tongue sticking out really far with this. Both of these again have the tongue in about the same position. It’s just the tip of the tongue between the teeth. It does not need to protrude far past your teeth. It really shouldn’t actually. Then with the tongue in that position, we force air out of our mouth. We force the air out over our tongue. So, especially with this sound, this first one, the tongue barely touches the teeth. It rests very very lightly between the teeth. You should not be pressing on your teeth, /θ/. I just very lightly, if we pretend this is my tongue, I very lightly rest my tongue, and this is my teeth, on my teeth very very lightly. Then I push the air out over the tongue, /θ/ /θ/. With the other sound, the tongue is in the same position. However, I do press a little bit harder onto my teeth, but not hard, just a little bit more than I do with the first sound, /ð/ /ð/ /ð/. Okay. I hope you’re trying this with me. Then with both sounds, we force air over our tongue. We can hear more air and we can feel more air if we put our hand in front of our mouth. We can feel more air coming out with this first sound. This is /θ/. I can hear and I can feel, /θ/, a lot of air coming out of my mouth. With this second sound, I also have air coming out of my mouth. I’m also forcing the air out over my tongue. However, there’s not as much air. I can’t feel as much and I can’t hear as much, /ð/ /ð/, but I do feel some air coming out. So, for both of these sounds, the tongue is between the teeth, but it does not protrude far past the teeth. With the first sound especially, the tongue does not press against the teeth at all. We can say that the upper teeth just rest very lightly or very lightly touch the tongue, /θ/. With the second sound, the tongue pushes a little bit more onto the teeth. And with both of these sounds, we force air out over the tongue. The first sound, this one, is a voiceless sound. The second sound is a voiced sound. This one is voiceless. That means that we do not use our vocal cords when we make this sound. With the second sound, the voiced sound, we do use our vocal cords. And when we use our vocal cords, we can feel vibration here. So if you can practice these two sounds with me, let’s do the voiceless sound first. When you make the sound, you should not feel any movement here in your vocal cords, /θ/ /θ/ /θ/. With the second sound, however, there is vibration here, /ð/ /ð/ /ð/. I can feel vibration around my vocal cords. I can also feel some vibration up here in my tongue and mouth area, so you probably will feel that same vibration. With the first sound, I did not feel any vibration here. Okay, so, do you have an idea how to make these sounds? Put your tongue between your teeth. It can protrude just a little but not far. Blow air out over your tongue. Okay. With the first sound, it’s voiceless. Vocal cords do not vibrate and the tongue is not pressing at all against my teeth. It is just very lightly touching. With the second sound, this is voiced. My vocal cords do vibrate and I touch a little bit more firmly onto my teeth. All right? Okay. Now I would like to talk about some common mistakes that some people make when trying to make these two sounds. So let’s talk about some common mistakes. Let’s look at some common mistakes that some people make when trying to make the /θ/ sound. The /θ/ sound, as I’ve said, is a voiceless sound, and some people confuse it with other voiceless sounds. Some people may confuse the /θ/ sound with the /s/ sound or the /f/ sound or the /t/ sound. If you are one of those people, it is probably because you are putting your tongue in the wrong position. Okay, so let’s go over the mouth position for each of these sounds. We know already that in order to make the /θ/ sound the tip of the tongue must be between the teeth, between the upper and lower teeth, and then we force air out of our mouth. We force the air out over our tongue, /θ/ /θ/. Well, with this sound /s/ we also force air out over our tongue, but the tongue itself is in a different position. The tip of the tongue is inside the mouth. It is not touching the top of the mouth. It’s just resting lightly inside our mouth and we force air out, /s/ /s/. So let’s look at the differences. The tip of the tongue is between the teeth here. The tip of the tongue is inside the mouth here. So if it’s inside my mouth, it’s not between my teeth. Although both sounds force air out of the mouth, they sound different because of the tongue position. Let’s practice, /θ/ /s/ /θ/ /s/. Think about where your tongue is. Is your tongue between your teeth for this one /θ/, or is your tongue behind your teeth inside your mouth for this one /s/? Okay? So the tongue position is very important. Let’s look at this sound. This is /f/. If you are getting this sound, then you are probably putting your upper teeth on your lower lip. You are forcing air out of your mouth which is correct, but your teeth are on your lip. To make this sound, I do this /f/ /f/, so my tongue tip is not between my teeth. My tongue is inside my mouth because my teeth are on my lip like this /f/ /f/. So again, we have to think about where our tongue is. Is it between the teeth, or is it inside the mouth so that the teeth can go down on the lip? All right? Let’s practice these two. This is /θ/, tongue between the teeth, force air out. This is /f/, tongue inside the mouth, upper teeth on lower lip and force air out. Let’s practice, /θ/ /f/ /θ/ /f/. I hope I’m pointing to the right sound here, /θ/ /f/ /θ/ /f/ /θ/ /f/ /θ/ /f/. If you are having trouble making this sound because instead you’re making this one, as with this, you need to think about what you’re doing with your mouth. Where is your tongue? Where are your teeth? All right? All three of these sounds do force air out of the mouth. Okay? These two in particular force air out over the tongue. This one forces air out from the sides of the mouth as well. Then we also have this sound. Many people confuse /θ/ with this sound /t/ because it’s also a voiceless sound, and also with this one, we have the tongue in a different position. With this sound the tip of the tongue presses behind the upper teeth. There’s a ridge behind our upper teeth and my tongue pushes up against that ridge, and it does press on it. I have the word press, presses. It presses against that ridge and when I do that I stop the air. I stop it completely and then I release it. This sound does not force air out continuously the way these three sounds do. This sound completely stops the air for a moment and then releases it in a burst. This is, this one is /t/ /t/. So I stop the air with my tongue by pressing my tongue, we’re going to pretend this is my tongue, by pressing my tongue up to the top of my mouth, behind my teeth, stopping the air, then releasing it in one burst /t/ /t/. Now let’s think about that. How does that compare to this sound? Well, the tongue is in a different position, right? That’s one difference. Here, the tongue is behind my teeth and it’s pressing firmly against that ridge. Here, my tongue is between my teeth and it does not press firmly at all. It doesn’t even press. It just rests very lightly between my teeth. So, that’s one difference. Also, with this sound, we completely stop the air and then release it in a burst. With this sound, we have a continuous release of air, okay? Let’s practice, /θ/ /t/ /θ/ /t/ /θ/ /t/. All right? So, these are some mistakes that some people make. You may not be one of them, but if you are, in order to try to change this sound to this one, think about what you are doing with your mouth. Where is your tongue? Is your tongue pressing or is it relaxed? Are you forcing air out continuously or are you stopping the air? But mostly, think about where your tongue is. Okay? Let’s go on to the voiced sounds. Let’s look at some mistakes now that some people make when trying to make the /ð/ sound. The /ð/ sound is a voiced sound, and some people confuse this sound with other voiced sounds. Each of these is also voiced which means, of course, that our vocal cords vibrate. The differences here are the same as the differences with the voiceless sounds. The differences are based on the position of the tongue, the teeth, and whether or not we are forcing air out or we are stopping air, so let’s look at each sound individually. With this one, of course, we have the tongue tip between our teeth and we force air out of our mouth, /ð/. With this one of course, the tip of the tongue is pressing a little bit, pressing very lightly against my teeth. With the voiceless sound, the tongue was not pressing, but here it is a little bit /ð/ /ð/ and I’m still forcing air out of my mouth, but I’m not getting as much air as with the voiceless sound. With this sound, I have the tongue inside my mouth. It is not between my teeth like this. It is inside and I do force air out, so this sound is /z/. It sounds very similar to the voiceless sound, of course, which is /s/. However, because this sound is voiced, we hear and feel vibration. This sound is /z/. But the way it is different from this sound is mainly because of the tongue position. Again, the tongue here is inside my mouth. The tongue here is between my teeth. Let’s practice these. This is /ð/ /z/ /ð/ /z/ /ð/ /z/ /ð/ /z/. If you are having trouble making this sound because instead you’re making this one, think about where your tongue is, okay? Your tongue is probably inside your mouth, so make a point of putting the tongue between the teeth. All right? Let’s go on to the next sound. With this one, this is similar to the voiceless /f/ sound that we saw a few minutes ago. With this sound, the upper teeth rest lightly on the lower lip, so my upper teeth here are resting very lightly on my lower lip like this and I force air out of my mouth. This sound is /v/ /v/. I can feel some vibration around my mouth and of course my vocal cords are vibrating, but let’s look at the difference between this one and this one. In this one, I said my teeth are on my lip, so because my teeth are on my lip, I don’t have my tongue between my teeth. In order to make this sound, I have to have my tongue between my teeth /ð/. This one /v/. Okay, I’m not getting the same sound. I am forcing air out of my mouth, okay. Let’s practice these two, /ð/ /v/ /ð/ /v/ /ð/ /v/ /ð/ /v/. Again, as with the other sounds, pay attention to what you’re doing with your mouth. Where is your tongue? Where are your teeth? Okay? You may not be having trouble with that. You may be instead making this sound which is /d/ /d/ /d/. This, of course, is very similar to the voiceless /t/ sound, but this one is /d/ because it’s voiced. The tongue, though, is in the same position. The tongue presses behind my upper teeth. The tip of my tongue is pressing on that ridge behind my upper teeth, and when I do that, I completely stop the air as I did with the voiceless sound and then I release that air in a burst. So this sound is /d/ /d/ /d/. I am not continuously releasing air as I am with these three sounds, and with this one, my tongue is not between my teeth. It’s not like this. It’s behind my teeth and it is pressing firmly on the top of my mouth or the ridge behind my teeth /d/ /d/ /d/ /d/, okay? Let’s practice these two. This is /ð/ /d/ /ð/ /d/ /ð/ /ð/ /d/ /d/. Okay? If you are having trouble, if you are confusing any of these sounds, as with the voiceless sounds, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing with your mouth. Okay? Try to be sure that the tongue and the mouth position are in the correct places to make this sound. Let’s go on and we will look at some words and practice words with each of these sounds and also with each of the voiceless sounds that I mentioned. Let’s go on now and practice some words with these confusing sounds. Let’s practice some words now using the voiceless sounds that I gave you previously. The words in this column begin with the sound /θ/. The words in this column begin with the sound /s/. The words in this column begin with the sound /f/. The words in this column begin with the sound /t/. The words that have been written in black are real words, okay. They’re actual words. The words that have been written in red are not real words. I call them nonsense words, but I have included them here so that we can use them to practice the sounds, okay?