What are the different pronunciations of "the" and when do you use them? — Rajesh , United States
There are two ways to pronounce "the." One pronunciation sounds like /ðə/ ("thuh," rhymes with "duh") and the other sounds like /ði/ ("thee," rhymes with "free"). The pronunciation of the word "the" depends on the first sound of the word that comes after it.
When the word after "the" begins with a consonant sound, people usually use /ðə/. When the word after "the" begins with a vowel sound, people usually use /ði/. Below are examples of when to use each pronunciation.
In each of the below sentences, /ðə/ is usually used because the word after "the" begins with a consonant sound:
He liked thebook very much.
Thekids enjoyed theplay.
Each of thesix roses had bloomed.
They were thefirst people to arrive at theparty.
In each of the below sentences, /ði/ is usually used because the word after "the" begins with a vowel sound:
She reached theend of Park Street and had to turn around.
Theindecision of theemployees made work difficult.
She just watched her favorite movie for theeighth time.
He drew theapple in a very realistic way.
I hope this helps. For more posts about words, idioms, grammar, and usage, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!