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.













Pronounce these difficult English words

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

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







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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