Pronounce these difficult English words 'maths. paths'

Pronounce These Difficult English Words ‘maths, paths’-Audio Lesson

I know it’s hard enough to pronounce words ending in ‘th’ in English, and then when you add a possessive or plural /s/ it becomes even more ‘fun’!  I would like to show you how to pronounce difficult English words such as maths and paths.

As I work with students on skype, or face to face, or receive requests via email, I have noticed that the combination of unvoiced or voiced ‘th’ followed by /s/ can be tricky.

It needs practise so your mouth becomes used to the movement from ‘th’ to /s/. So it feels and sounds natural, and you become confident using this sound combination. Especially as a lot of languages don’t have a ‘th’ sound in them so pronouncing these difficult words may be frustrating.

Of course, before you can say the ‘th’ and /s/ sounds together naturally, you will have to practise the ‘th’ until you can use it automatically in words.

I have prepared an audio lesson for you to practise with:

 

Pronounce these difficult English words

Words ending in the unvoiced ‘th’ sound /θ/

The /θ/ continues to be said as unvoiced in these words.

Moths

Cloths

Months

Earths

Lengths

Souths

Breaths

Growths

Births

Widths

Hundredths

 

Pronounce these difficult English words

Words ending in the voiced ‘th’ sound / ð/

The / ð/ continues to be said as voiced in these words.

Paths

Mouths

Clothes

Loathes

Breathes

 

Pronounce these difficult English words- some exceptions depending on the accent

Baths:  Americans say the unvoiced ‘th’- /baeθs/

British and Australians use the voiced ‘th’ -/ bɑːðz /

 

Youths: The Australians say /juðz/ when talking about more than one

 youth.  For example, ‘The youths were singing.”  

 They say /juːθs / when referring to the possessive.

 For example “The youth’s mother was called to the office.”

 Americans use the voiced ‘th’ / ð/- /juðz/

 The British use the unvoiced ‘th’ /θ/  /juːθs /

 

Maths: All 3 accents use the unvoiced ‘th’ /θ/

The Americans though, can say it with, or without the /s/ at the end.

Often they say it without the /s/ – /maeθ/

For example, “Do the math.”

I hope this has helped, and as with all difficult pronunciation combinations, you just have to keep practising till it feels natural for your mouth to move that way. Maybe choose a word and practise it for a week, both as a single word and in sentences. Start with very short sentences at first. Or, do as some people do, just keep saying it aloud as you walk around inside the house – it works!

Best wishes, Esther

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