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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Loathe/Love

    Hey, it's been some time now that I'm attempting to figure out how to pronounce loathe and how it us different from how we pronounce love.


    I'd be thrilled if you could help me thanks. :)

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Loathe/Love

    The /v/ in 'love' is a labio-dental fricative. That means that your top teeth are touching your bottom lip (think of biting your bottom lip) to constrict the air flow.

    The // in 'loathe' is a lingua-dental fricative. This means that your tongue is touching the bottom ridge of your top teeth (think of licking the bottom edge of your front two teeth) to constrict the air flow.

    In /v/ your mouth is mostly closed, because those top teeth have to bite down on that bottom lip. The lips themselves don't quite touch, because that bottom lip is tucked up behind the top teeth.

    With //, your moth is mostly open, although if you looked in a mirror, you'd see your tongue sticking out.

    If that isn't clear, check out this site, and click on the /v/ and //icons under the 'Fricative' tab. You can also click on the two blue arrows. The one in the middle of the page will show an animated cutaway view of a mouth as it makes the sounds, and the one on the right will show a closeup frontal view of the mouth as a person produces the sound.

    Edit: Also, the /v/ sound should be easy enough for you, it's the same as the /v/ sound you already know in French. The // sound will be a new one for you since French doesn't have any labio-dental fricatives. There are actually two different kinds of 'th' in English - the // we've discussed above, and /θ̼/. The only difference between them is that //is voiced (meaning there's a vibration in the vocal cords), and /θ̼ is voiceless (meaning the vocal cords don't vibrate). Neither exist in French, so they are new sounds you'll have to learn for English. They are formed the same way in regards to positioning of the tongue and teeth.
    Last edited by Skrej; 18-Jul-2015 at 00:22. Reason: expanded:

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Loathe/Love

    'Loathe' rhymes with 'clothe'; 'love' rhymes with 'above'.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Loathe/Love

    Thank you both for your really detailled explanations it really helps me a lot. I'm going to work on the unfamiliar sounds you told me about and hopefully I'll get to master the pronounciation of these two words soon :)

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Loathe/Love

    It's harder (even for native speakers) to correctly differentiate between the pronunciations of "loathe" and "loath" (and to use them correctly).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Loathe/Love

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's harder (even for native speakers) to correctly differentiate between the pronunciations of "loathe" and "loath"
    I have always spelt the second of those without the a. I discovered quite late in life that the version with the a was also correct.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Loathe/Love

    Forvo is a great site for checking pronunciation.

    Here is the link to audible pronunciations of "loathe".
    Here is the link to audible pronunciations of "love".
    Here is the link to audible pronunciations of "loath" (even though it wasn't in your original query, it might be interesting for you.)

    As you will see when you click on the links, there are pronunciation samples from different variants of English but hopefully it will be clear to you just how different "loathe" and "love" are.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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