What’s the most common word in English?
The most common word in English is the.
How to pronounce the
There are two ways to pronounce the word the.
Both versions start with a voiced Th sound. That sound is a little bit tricky.
You can see my video tutorial for the Th sounds here.
Two ways to say the vowel sound
There are two ways to say the vowel in the word the.
- You can say the vowel with a /ə/ schwa vowel sound.
- You can say the vowel with an /iy/ as in Green vowel sound.
Here are the rules
When the word following the starts with a consonant, we use a schwa vowel sound.
The vowel sound in the is a schwa /ǝ/ in these phrases:
- thǝ book
- thǝ car
- thǝ course
When the word following the starts with a vowel, we use an /iy/ as in Green vowel sound.
The vowel sound in the is /iy/ as in Green in these phrases:
- the other day
- the answer
- the Americans
Not a huge problem
Now, saying the word the with the wrong vowel sound is not a huge issue. It’s not going to create breakdowns in communication.
However, learning to use the schwa sound is one of the most effective things you can do, if you want to speak clearly in American English.
The most common sound
Schwa is the most common sound in spoken English. You’ve goddə use it if you want your American English to sound clear and natural.
I show you how
In my accent reduction coaching program, I show you how to speak American English in a style that’s clear, natural and professional.
You’ll learn to use schwa, the Th sounds, syllable stress and other proven accent reduction techniques.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll send you more information.