English Introduction to /TH/: The Hardest Sound in English?

Ok, so today we are talking about one of the most important sounds in English: the TH. 

This sound is so important for two reasons: 

  • First and foremost, we use it all the time. 
  • Secondly, it is a really difficult sound for Brazilians to produce. 

So to produce the /TH/ we have to stick our tongues out of our mouths and bite our tongue. I know this will be a really weird feeling at first but you can do it. 

Ok, so before we get too deep into this, I just want to clarify that, yes, there are in fact, two /TH/ sounds in English: the voiced and the unvoiced. 

Some teachers place a lot of emphasis on the difference between the voiced and the voiceless /TH/, but in my humble opinion, the most important thing is getting the position of the sound right, and then the voice comes naturally. 

So for our purposes today, we are not going to pay too much attention to voice, but rather just focus on the position and really building your muscle memory and getting comfortable with the biting your tongue. 

So let’s do this thing. 

When I teach I new sound I generally like to separate the sound depending on where it occurs in the word. For example, most of my students find it much easier to produce the /TH/ and the beginning of a word, for example, this that. 

And most of my students find it much more difficult to produce the sound at the end of the word: like with, month, eight. This is probably because when it occurs at the beginning of a word you have a little bit more time to think about the sound you want to produce. 

Sound School: Personal Pronunciation Coaching for Brazilians

Uma escola não convencional para aprender mais rápido, entender nativos, e falar sem vergonha.

Already enrolled?
Sign in to continue learning.