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Feb 24, 2010

Today's podcast will be dedicated to the 'th'. English, being quite irregular at times, has two ways of pronouncing the combination of the t and the h. That may seem simple, but getting it right is a key  to sounding like a native. I have met many people from all over the world who speak English quite well, but who have a weakness when they use a word beginning with th. Some people will pronounce 'the' and similar words as 'de', as if the 'th' was a 'd'. Other people pronounce it as a 'z'; I have often heard "zis" and "zat" instead of this and that. So, how do we overcome these errors? Practice is the answer! I will read a paragraph that is full of the 'th' sounds; I will give you time to repeat after me. Remember, the two sounds are 'th' (as in thing), a sound that is light and full of air, and 'th' which is a heavier sound that has more vibration and less air flow. Let's give it a try.

 The thoughtfulness of my neighbors makes me think. Though they are retired, they are thrilled to spend their days helping people. Every Thursday at three o'clock, they hand out food, household things, and this and that to the poor in the community. Theodore, the husband, had throat problems, but thought more about helping the poor than helping himself. They read thick books on community service, they support the local theatre (er), and though they are thin and quite old, they thrive on charity runs. Such thoughtful people!