To the Editor

GoodTaste

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The phrase "to the editor" appears to form one intonation group and so the interval between "to" and "the" remains a question to be addressed. Is there no pause between the two words (that is, the sounds naturally slip from one to another)? Is it pronounced as /tu ðiː/?

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TO THE EDITOR:
Rapid and accurate diagnostic tests are essential for controlling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2016359?query=featured_home
 
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GoesStation

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The phrase "to the editor" appears to form one intonation group and so the interval between "to" and "the" remains a question to be addressed. Is there no pause between the two words (that is, the sounds naturally slip from one to another)? Is it pronounced as /tu ðiː/?
Yes, in most cases. Learners will do well to follow the rule about pronouncing "to" in stressed and unstressed situations, but you shouldn't be surprised if you sometimes hear native speakers break it.

The same goes for "the" before a vowel. Many people in my region and speakers of African-American Vernacular English nearly always pronounce it with a schwa. Learners should not do this.
 

GoodTaste

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Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?

To (0.5s pause) the editor

It seems to be an emphasis to show a manner that is a bit more serious. I am not sure.
 

GoesStation

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Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?

To (0.5s pause) the editor

It seems to be an emphasis to show a manner that is a bit more serious. I am not sure.
Read it fluidly, without a pause.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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And my wife likes to remind me that a the before a vowel sound (like the e in editor) is pronounced thee, while a the before a consonant (like the l in letter) is pronounced thuh.
 

Tdol

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Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?

To (0.5s pause) the editor

I wouldn't pause- I see no need for emphasis as I am arrogant enough to think the editor wants to hear what I have to say.
 

probus

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And my wife likes to remind me that a the before a vowel sound (like the e in editor) is pronounced thee, while a the before a consonant (like the l in letter) is pronounced thuh.

That's certainly true for me, and I wish it was true for everybody, but it's not. Somebody I know very well, an associate professor at a major university, always says thuh regardless of the next word. As I've remarked in the past, this seems to be a trend among younger speakers.
 
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GoesStation

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It's been common in my region since I was a boy in the 1960s.
 
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