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  • Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

  • In this lesson, I'll go over the pronunciation

  • of the 'th' sounds.

  • I'll remind you how to make the sounds

  • because actually there are two sounds

  • made by the letters 'th'

  • and I'll give you some guidelines

  • to help you to decide when to use each sound.

  • And more importantly,

  • we'll practise using these sounds in sentences

  • because that's when it gets tricky.

  • Before we get started,

  • I want to say a huge welcome to my newest subscribers

  • I'm looking forward to taking you on an

  • English language journey.

  • If you haven't subscribed to my channel yet,

  • then you can do it just by

  • hitting that red subscribe button right there.

  • Okay so the 'th' sounds are really common,

  • really common in English,

  • though, not many other languages use these sounds.

  • So if you're having trouble pronouncing the 'th' sounds,

  • then don't feel bad about it, you're definitely not alone.

  • But the good news is you can improve this sound

  • and you can start to feel more natural as you're using it

  • but you have to commit!

  • Improving your pronunciation is like going to the gym.

  • The first time, you're gonna suck at it.

  • But each time that you go back

  • and you work those muscles a little bit more,

  • the easier it will get

  • and the better you'll feel about yourself, right?

  • So remember, that the tongue is also a muscle

  • and you need to strengthen it, you need to workout.

  • So let's review the position of the tongue.

  • Open your mouth and push your tongue through,

  • just a little,

  • not like this,

  • like this.

  • Put your finger there if you're unsure about

  • where to stop your tongue.

  • Notice that the tongue is not completely relaxed,

  • there's a little tension.

  • If you rub the bottom of your teeth with your tongue,

  • can you feel the tension in your tongue?

  • This is the same amount of tension that you need to

  • hold the 'th' position.

  • The tongue is not completely relaxed, it's lifted

  • and running through the middle of your mouth.

  • If your tongue is too high in the mouth,

  • up behind your teeth,

  • you'll make that /t/ or /d/ sound.

  • And if your tongue is not coming through your teeth,

  • if you keep it inside, you'll make a /s/ or a /z/ sound.

  • So you really must pay attention to the tip

  • of your tongue,

  • it must come through between your teeth.

  • Now as I mentioned, there are two 'th' sounds,

  • a voiced sound and an unvoiced sound.

  • Now both of these sounds use exactly

  • the same mouth position.

  • It's just that the sound comes from a different place.

  • Voiced consonant sounds

  • are made using the vocal cords.

  • So once you've got your teeth and your mouth in

  • position and you make a sound here,

  • you should feel a buzzing.

  • It might even tickle your tongue a little.

  • Unvoiced consonant sounds are made by air

  • pushing through your mouth.

  • So it's the air that creates the sound.

  • So keep your tongue and your mouth

  • in the same position,

  • make sure you've got some air in your lungs

  • and push the air through.

  • So this is the unvoiced 'th' sound.

  • So when should you use the voiced

  • or the unvoiced sound?

  • That's a great question

  • because both sounds are represented

  • by the same letters.

  • And I wish I had a simple answer for you,

  • I know that you like it when I have a simple explanation

  • of why this rule is like that and when you should use it

  • but unfortunately in this situation,

  • there are lots of exceptions.

  • But there are some guidelines

  • that I'm going to share with you,

  • guides that will help you to make a decision

  • and help you to use the correct 'th' sound.

  • Remember they're guides, not rules

  • but let's focus on the unvoiced sound first,

  • made with air.

  • So a 'th' at the beginning of content words

  • is usually an unvoiced 'th' sound.

  • So content words are words that provide

  • the meaning in a sentence.

  • There are nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs.

  • Words like 'think' and 'thought' and 'thirsty'

  • and 'thankful' and 'theory'.

  • So the 'th' at the start of content words

  • is usually unvoiced.

  • Now if there is a 'th' in the middle of a word,

  • before a consonant,

  • it's usually unvoiced.

  • 'bathtub'

  • 'faithful'

  • 'worthless'

  • And a 'th' at the end of a word is usually unvoiced.

  • 'month'

  • 'strength'

  • 'warmth'

  • 'teeth'

  • 'fifth'

  • There are some exceptions though.

  • And I'm going to talk about those in just a minute.

  • Now the voiced 'th' sound

  • made using your vocal cords.

  • So if there's a 'th' at the beginning of a structure word,

  • they're usually voiced. So structure words,

  • sometimes called function words,

  • are different to content words

  • because they don't have a lot of meaning in

  • English sentences. They're grammatical words.

  • They don't tell us a lot of information but they're

  • important to the structure of English sentences.

  • So structure words are words like 'this', 'that', 'those',

  • 'these', 'the', 'there', 'then' or 'than'

  • So all of these words, I mean, some of these words are

  • very, very, common English words, right?

  • They're very, very common.

  • So learning to pronounce the different 'th' sounds

  • is really important

  • if you want to sound natural when you speak English.

  • There is a noticeable difference.

  • Now a 'th' in the middle of the word, when it's between

  • two vowel sounds is usually this voiced sound.

  • 'bother'

  • 'worthy'

  • 'mother'

  • Now I said the 'th' is usually unvoiced

  • at the end of words but except

  • if the word ends ends in '-the'

  • like 'bathe', 'breathe' and 'loathe'.

  • So these are pretty good guides

  • but there are always exceptions, aren't there?

  • English!

  • There are exceptions like 'smooth'

  • and 'clothes'

  • and 'frothy'.

  • All of these words are breaking the rules

  • and there are more!

  • Actually if you can think of any more,

  • please add them to the comments

  • so that we can talk about

  • some of the exceptions in the comments.

  • But anyway,

  • now that you've got through most of these guidelines,

  • it's time to practise.

  • So I want you to repeat after me.

  • Throw those things.

  • Throw those things to Theo.

  • There are three of them.

  • There are three of them over there.

  • Ready for this one?

  • At three thirty on Thursday,

  • a thousand of those thrilling thinkers will gather.

  • At three thirty on Thursday,

  • a thousand of those thrilling thinkers will gather.

  • I love tongue twisters!

  • Can you think of your own 'th' tongue twister?

  • I think I thought I..

  • If you can think of one, put it in the comments

  • so that we can all practise together.

  • Put your 'th' tongue twisters

  • right down in the comments and let's practise!

  • What a workout!

  • Well done to you!

  • I mean your tongue might feel