The voiced and unvoiced -th sounds in English

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How do we know whether to use voiced or unvoice -th?

There is a little trick helping you recognize the two ‘th’ sounds. It all comes down to WHICH letter you replace the sounds with

Voiced

“mother”  is often replaced with these sounds by Slavic speakers:

D – muh-der

Unvoiced

“moth” or “bath”  is often replaced with these sounds by Slavic speakers:

F – mof , baf

The trick is:

  • the voiced ‘th’ is often replaced with the voiced consonants  D
  • the unvoiced ‘th’ is often replaced with the unvoiced consonants F
voiced and unvoiced th in english

Words beginning with voiced -th

thee

Dee

Lee

then

den

zen

though

dough

low

they

day

lay

there

dare

lair

this

diss

miss

Words beginning with unvoiced -th

withif
thinfin
thoughtfought
thrivefive
threefree
thawfall

Words not beginning with voiced -th

bathe bade
breathe breed
teethe tease
loathe load
other udder
father fodder

Words not beginning with unvoiced -th

toothbehoof
oathoff
northwharf
bothloaf
breathbeef
youthaloof

Tongue twister with voiced -th

Whether the weather is cold,
Or whether the weather is hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

Tongue twister with voiced -th

With or without you I think,
I would thoughtfully go for a drink,
To think with thrill,
Or thoroughly sink,
with or without you I think.

Oral Reading Voiced -th

Even though my father is a weatherman, he can’t predict with absolute certainty whether it will rain or not. Neither can the other people who work with him. They say there’s only a thirty percent chance of rain, and the next thing you know, it’s pouring. They predict snow, and there’s nothing for another five days. Then, there’s a blizzard. So rather than trust my father’s weather forecasts, I use a more reasonable approach. I ask my mother.

Oral Reading Unvoiced -th

If you think you’re safe from thievery, think again. Most thefts occur within three miles of the victim’s home. People often venture into the streets without giving their valuables a second thought. They leave things out in the open, where thieves can easily spot them. Items worth thousands of dollars can be stolen in a tenth of a second. So be thoughtful. Only you can thwart this terrible crime. Watch your things carefully. Thieves do.

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