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Thread: the ice-cream

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    #1

    the ice-cream

    I read that when there's a vowel sound, "the" should be read as "thee" before a word that starts with a, e, i, o and u vowel sound.

    Then I read that there's short vowel and long vowel sounds. My understanding is that the long vowel sound sounds the same as the alphabet itself. Hence, I'm confused as to the pronunciation of "the" in some words such as (thee or thuh) ice-cream, (thee or thuh) eleventh hour and (thee or thuh) one.

    However, it is pronounced "thuh" universe or university, although both words sound (or at least to me) like the long vowel sound of 'u'. So there is something wrong with my undestanding.

    I read in http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/edu...how-pronounce:

    Did Squiggly get "thee" MRI? (Note that MRI starts with a vowel sound: E.)
    (No matter how I read it, I could not locate the vowel sound 'E' in MRI)

    Please help me to understand correctly.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Oceanlike; 14-Apr-2017 at 06:22. Reason: Thought of the words 'eleventh hour' and wanted to include it.

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    #2

    Re: the ice-cream

    You don't need to pronounce "the" "THEE" unless you want to emphasize the noun.

    Did Squiggly get an MRI? The MRI shows.... (here you can pronounce it like "THUH")

    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: the ice-cream

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    (No matter how I read it, I could not locate the vowel sound 'E' in MRI)
    MRI is pronounced like EM ARE AI.

    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: the ice-cream

    'The' is pronounced thee before vowel sounds, as in apple, egg,ink ostrich, umbrella, hour, honest. Note that the 'h' in the last two words is not sounded.

    It is pronounced thuh before consonant sounds, as in ball, man,yolk, university, European. Note that the initial sound of the last three words is classed as a consonant.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 14-Apr-2017 at 11:59.

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    #5

    Re: the ice-cream

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    'The' is pronounced thee before vowel sounds, as in apple, egg,ink ostrich, umbrella, hour, honest. Note that the 'h' in the last two words is not sounded.

    It is pronounced thuh before consonant sounds, as in ball, man,yolk, university, European. Note that the initial sound of the last three words is classed as a consonant.
    Therefore, it should read:
    - the (as in thuh) ice-cream?
    - the (as in thee) eleventh hour?
    - the (as in thuh) one?

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    #6

    Re: the ice-cream

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    Therefore, it should read:
    - the (as in thuh) ice-cream? NO
    - the (as in thee) eleventh hour? YES
    - the (as in thuh) one? YES

    ,
    Last edited by Piscean; 14-Apr-2017 at 15:49. Reason: error corrected

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    #7

    Re: the ice-cream

    "Ice cream" begins with a vowel sound, so when the comes before it, we pronounce it more like "thee".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: the ice-cream

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    - the (as in thuh) one?
    That one is correct.

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    #9

    Re: the ice-cream

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    That one is correct.
    "One" sounds the same as won, which starts with a consonant sound. Therefore we tend to pronounce "the" with a short e, like thuh.

    Oceanlike, these are tendencies more than rules. They arise from what's comfortable to pronounce. In my region you'll often hear the short e pronunciation before vowels, with a glottal stop between the words: thuh 'only way you can pronounce this vowel combination comfortably is to interpose a glottal stop. People who do that often follow a with a glottal stop instead of using an before words that begin with a vowel sound: here's uh 'apple. You should not adopt these pronunciations, but don't be shocked if you hear them.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: the ice-cream

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    "One" sounds the same as won, which starts with a consonant sound. Therefore we tend to pronounce "the" with a short e, like thuh.

    Oceanlike, these are tendencies more than rules. They arise from what's comfortable to pronounce. In my region you'll often hear the short e pronunciation before vowels, with a glottal stop between the words: thuh 'only way you can pronounce this vowel combination comfortably is to interpose a glottal stop. People who do that often follow a with a glottal stop instead of using an before words that begin with a vowel sound: here's uh 'apple. You should not adopt these pronunciations, but don't be shocked if you hear them.
    That's what I often hear too. I don't hear "thee" a lot unless it is to emphasize the noun. It sounds unnatural to say "thee" apple all the time.

    I am not a teacher.

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