Two ways to pronounce THE

Two ways to pronounce THE

When speaking American English, you should be aware that there are two ways to pronounce the word THE.

Here are the rules

1. When THE occurs before a vowel sound, the e should sound like /iy/ as in Green.

Add a  ʸ glide to link the words together. This will make your speech sound smooth.

  1. theʸOFFice
  2. theʸissue
  3. theʸotherDAY

2. When THE occurs before a consonant sound the e should sound like schwa /ə/ or “uh”.

  1. the meeting
  2. the call
  3. the dinner

Listen here


Smooth speech

This is a very nuanced feature of the American accent, but the people in my accent reduction coaching program like to learn it because it allows them to speak more smoothly!

Don’t drop the word the

Sometimes my clients drop the word THE from their speech because they’re not sure when to use it.

I advise them not to do that because dropping articles such as THE creates grammatical errors that American listeners will notice right away.

I can show you how

If you’re an international professional, who’d like to learn more rules for clear and correct American English, check out my training programs by following the link below.

My training programs will teach you how speak American English in a way that your colleagues will respect and understand!

About the author

Susan Ryan is the author of the ConfidentVoice blog and an American English communication and accent reduction coach.