Did you know there are two ways to pronounce "the"? - eAge Tutor

Did you know there are two ways to pronounce "the"?


English is a simple language, though sometimes it gets difficult to understand. Grammar is the backbone of the English language. Hence, it is important to use it properly while framing a sentence or while conversing in the language. You can learn English grammar through various sources, such as books or through internet. Learning how to speak English is very easy, one can acquire it by conversing in English. As said, practice makes a man perfect, continuous practicing will improve your communication skills in English. As English is a globally accepted language, it becomes easy for you to communicate when you visit any foreign country.


However, it is essential to know the pronunciation of the words. You might be aware of words which sound same but have different meanings. These words are called homophones. For instance, sea - see, ear - hear, right – write etc. Similarly, there are words that can have different pronunciations, such as the word “the”, which is same but its pronunciation differs accordingly. Let’s have a look on its expression as how it is pronounced.

You might pronounce "the" with a short sound (like "thuh"). But when "the" comes before a vowel sound, we pronounce it as a long "thee".

Vowel sound

How to write

How to say


The apple

Thee apple


The egg

Thee egg


The ice-cream

Thee ice-cream


The orange

Thee orange


The ugli fruit

Thee ugli fruit


It is vital to know that what you say matters, not what you write. It is the sound that matters, not the letter used in writing a word. Hence, “thee” is used before a vowel sound, not necessarily before a vowel. For example:

What to write


What to say


The home

Consonant (h)

thuh home

consonant sound

the hour

Consonant (h)

Thee our

Vowel sound

The university

Vowel (u)

Thuh university

consonant sound

The umbrella

Vowel (u)

Thee umbrella

Vowel sound


Emphatic thee

When you try to place importance on a particular word, you can use "emphatic the" [thee], whether or not the word begins with a consonant or vowel sound.

For example:

X: I saw the [thuh] President yesterday.

Y: What! The [thee] President of the United States?

X: Yes, exactly.

The pronunciation of a word plays an important role in communication skills. Hence to improve your English speaking skills join our spoken English course.

About EAgeTutor:

eAgeTutor.com is the premier online tutoring provider. eAge's world-class faculty and ace communication experts from around the globe help you to improve English in an all-round manner. Assignments and tasks based on a well-researched content developed by subject matter and industry experts can certainly fetch the most desired results for improving spoken English skills. Overcoming limitations is just a click of mouse away in this age of effective and advance communication technology. For further information on online English speaking course or to experience the wonders of virtual classroom fix a demonstration session with our tutor. Please visit www.eagetutor.com.

- By Shailja Varma

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