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    Default pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    hi, how do you teach Chinese students (age 16-30) to correctly pronounce words such as months, strengths, depths? it seems like everyone of them pronounce the "th" and "ths" like the sound of "s", so you hear mon"s", streng"s", dep"s".

    the problem used to be with words that contain "th", didn't matter where the "th" is in a word. but now they've corrected themselves with the "th" at the beginning of a word so you no longer hear "thank" pronounced as "sank" and "thought" pronounced as "sought", and most other "th"s are taken care of as well....but the plural form of nouns that end in "th" remains a huge problem.

    please help me...thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    Quote Originally Posted by john dough View Post
    hi, how do you teach Chinese students (age 16-30) to correctly pronounce words such as months, strengths, depths? it seems like everyone of them pronounce the "th" and "ths" like the sound of "s", so you hear mon"s", streng"s", dep"s".

    the problem used to be with words that contain "th", didn't matter where the "th" is in a word. but now they've corrected themselves with the "th" at the beginning of a word so you no longer hear "thank" pronounced as "sank" and "thought" pronounced as "sought", and most other "th"s are taken care of as well....but the plural form of nouns that end in "th" remains a huge problem.

    please help me...thanks in advance!
    This is a problem for many native speakers too. It's common to hear these words pronounced as you have written them - except that the last consonant is lengthened in time, as in 'depps'.
    You have done very well in getting them to say a proper 'th' at the beginning of a word.

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    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This is a problem for many native speakers too. It's common to hear these words pronounced as you have written them - except that the last consonant is lengthened in time, as in 'depps'.
    You have done very well in getting them to say a proper 'th' at the beginning of a word.

    That's right, Ray. In all ordinary conversations, I say "depps" and "strengs" (but I dislike the pronunciation that drops the "g" -- "strenss."

    I say "asst" for "asked" too, unless I am speaking formally or distinctly.

    But I always say "fifths" and "sixths" correctly.

    I don't consider it a problem.

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    Default Re: pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    thanks guys

    if you HAVE to teach students in China and Japan the correct way to say "fifths" and "sixths" then how would you do it?

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    Default Re: pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    Quote Originally Posted by john dough View Post
    thanks guys

    if you HAVE to teach students in China and Japan the correct way to say "fifths" and "sixths" then how would you do it?
    If they have to learn how to say these words as they are written, there is no alternative but to tell them to say the relevant phonemes in the right order.
    Sixths requires an /s/ then /th/ then another /s/. They could practice by alternating these sounds until they can do it fast enough to satisfy the syllabus.
    "Fifths" is a little easier because you don't need you tongue to makes an /f/.

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    Default Re: pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    That's right, Ray. In all ordinary conversations, I say "depps" and "strengs" (but I dislike the pronunciation that drops the "g" -- "strenss."

    I say "asst" for "asked" too, unless I am speaking formally or distinctly.

    But I always say "fifths" and "sixths" correctly.

    I don't consider it a problem.
    I never drop any of the sounds there. I'm a TH lover I guess.

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    Default Re: pronunciation of words ending in "ths"

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I never drop any of the sounds there. I'm a TH lover I guess.
    Well we all have different talents. Maybe you should be the one to give john dough the advice then.

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