IPA phoneme /ð/

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In Received Pronunciation, the IPA phonetic symbol /ð/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "the", and "that" and the middle one in "mother" and "gather".

Common words

Some common words which practice the initial pronunciation of /ð/ include the following:

  • that - the - their - them - then - these - they - this - those - though;

Some common words which practice the mid-position pronunciation of /ð/ include the following:

  • another - bother - brother - either - father - feather - further - gather - heather - leather - mother - neither - other - rather - rhythm -together - weather/whether - with;

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.


Many Spanish speakers don't distinguish clearly between /ð/ and /θ/ and when they see "th" tend to pronounce it /θ/, a sound which corresponds to the letter "z" in Spanish.

Another difficulty is the difference between /ð/ and /d/, that is, they may have difficulty distinguishing between "they" and "day".

See also

External links