Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    Hello. I have been having trouble on the th pronunication. I know there are two types of them--the voiced and the unvoiced, but sometimes they get a little bit confusing. For example the slangs: What the hell, what the heck, look at this
    These phrases are difficult to pronounce, considering the TH and the intonation. Does anyone know any methods to improve the TH?

    ~please reply
    thanks

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,016
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    In expressions like 'what the hell', we don't emphasise the word 'the' usually, so you need to practise weak forms. What's your mother tongue?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    what is practicing weak forms? my mother tongue is korean..

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,016
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    A weak form is an unstressed form of a words or sound, where it is given little prominence in the phrase. Vowel sounds are often reduced to the schwa (uh) when weak.
    When we say 'what the hell', 'the' is not an important word, so we give it less importance and it can almost disappear, so we say what-th-hell, all run together into one unit, almost swallowing the definite article- it sounds like a single unit, not three separate words. In spoken English, we run words together a lot.

  5. #5
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    834
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    Quote Originally Posted by studentabc
    Hello. I have been having trouble on the th pronunication. I know there are two types of them--the voiced and the unvoiced, but sometimes they get a little bit confusing. For example the slangs: What the hell, what the heck, look at this
    These phrases are difficult to pronounce, considering the TH and the intonation. Does anyone know any methods to improve the TH?

    ~please reply
    thanks
    The "th" sound is attached to "what".

    Whath'_hell....

    The vowel sound is weak - schwa -, and it turns out the "th" sound is not actually voiced in rapid speech. "Weak form" refers to the vowel sound.

    What's taking place here is "elision". http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=elision

    There is a sound that is eliminated and a sound that changes when people say "what the hell" very fast.

    People speak fast and don't think of slowing down to say "what - the hell".

    Try this with other interrogatives. After "how" "th" is voiced. "how the hell"
    Last edited by Steven D; 26-May-2005 at 00:41.

  6. #6
    HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
    HaraKiriBlade is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    416
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    You said your mother language is Korean... hmm... Let me take a stab at this.

    Dear teachers, if you'll pardon me for using non-English language... I'm just going to romanize it.

    hyuh kut ul wee areh ippal sai e gat da dat ta ga tte myun suh sori rul nap ni da.

    Phew... that was hard. Hope it helped.

    'th' in 'the' is always voiced. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  7. #7
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    834
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Voiced and Unvoiced Th

    Quote Originally Posted by HaraKiriBlade
    You said your mother language is Korean... hmm... Let me take a stab at this.

    Dear teachers, if you'll pardon me for using non-English language... I'm just going to romanize it.

    hyuh kut ul wee areh ippal sai e gat da dat ta ga tte myun suh sori rul nap ni da.

    Phew... that was hard. Hope it helped.

    'th' in 'the' is always voiced. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Yes, "th" in "the" is always voiced. However, sometimes there's an exception. This can happen in rapid speech when it's linked to a word that ends in "t".

    The books are here, but the CDs aren't.

    The books are here, buthe CDs aren't. - Try saying it fast, and listen to what happens. One might say it's still voiced when speaking fast, but it's a lot weaker than when speaking slowly and not linking it to "but".

    Can you get the CDs please?

    Can you gethe CDs please?
    Last edited by Steven D; 09-Jun-2005 at 23:30.

Similar Threads

  1. voiced and voiceless final phoneme
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-Mar-2005, 03:21
  2. voiced sounds and unvoiced sounds
    By Sstupid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 21-Feb-2005, 07:21

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •