In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to talk about linking and the
TH sound. I've been getting a lot of questions about this recently. Understandable, since
the TH sound is in some very common words, and linking is such an important concept in
Of course, I can't go over every combination of linking with the TH. But in this video,
we're going to take 10 examples. We'll watch them in slow motion, and we'll discuss what
the mouth is doing to link the sounds. Let's get started.
Here we're linking the S with the TH. Here the tongue comes through for the first TH
sound, tongue tip stays just behind the bottom teeth as they come together for the S, and
the tongue comes through again for the TH. So the movement from the S to the TH is quite
simple. Teeth go from being closed, with the tongue just behind the bottom teeth to parting
with the tongue coming through. Let's watch again. This thing.
Here we're linking the Z with the voiced TH.
Even though the sounds are different than the previous example, the mouth position is
the same for both sounds. However, in this case there's going to be a difference. Teeth
close for the Z sound, but the tongue tip doesn't really come through the teeth for
the TH. That's because you can get away with making the voiced TH sound, especially at
the beginning of an unstressed syllable, by pressing the tongue behind the closed teeth.
So, the tongue tip will press behind where the teeth come together, but not actually
come all the way through like it does for the unvoiced TH. Let's watch again.
Here I'm linking a stop T with the voiced TH. Something interesting happens here.
Rather than the tongue going up into the stop T position, it simply comes out of the vowel,
straight into the TH position. However, I don't leave the stop T out. I still stop the
sound before voicing the TH -- sit there, sit there -- so that we get the feel for the
stop T. But rather than taking the tongue tip to the roof of the mouth, I make the stop
while bringing the tongue tip through the teeth. Let's watch again.
Here we're linking the V sound with the voiced TH. It's quite straightforward. You will
clearly see both mouth positions.
The bottom lip comes up making contact with the top teeth for the V sound, then the lip
pulls down and the tongue comes through the teeth for the TH sound. Let's watch again.
Here we're linking the P with the voiced TH. Again, it's quite straightforward. You'll
clearly see the mouth position of both sounds.
The lips come together to make the P, and as they part, the tongue tip comes through
the teeth to make the TH. Watch again.
Here we're linking the unvoiced TH with the ST consonant cluster.
The tongue comes through the teeth, to make the TH. Then the tongue tip pulls back and
touches just behind the bottom of the front teeth while the teeth close to make the S sound.
Then the tongue tip will go up to the roof of the mouth to make the T. Let's watch again.
Here we're connecting the unvoiced TH with the F consonant. You'll be able to clearly
see both mouth positions.
Tongue comes through the teeth for the TH, and the bottom lip raises to touch the bottom
of the front top teeth for the F sound. Watch again.
Here we're connecting the unvoiced TH with the W consonant sound.
Tongue comes through the teeth for the TH, then pulls back and the lips form the tight
circle for the W while the tongue tip is just behind the bottom front teeth. Watch again.
Here we'll see the unvoiced TH linking to the K consonant sound.
Tongue tip comes through the teeth for the TH. For the K, the tongue tip comes back in
the mouth and goes down, touching behind the bottom front teeth. The back part of the tongue
raises and touches the soft palate, which is why you see a dark space in the mouth.
Here we'll see the unvoiced TH linking with the S sound.
Tongue tip comes through the teeth for the TH. Then the tongue tip comes back into the
mouth and lightly touches behind the bottom front teeth while the teeth close to make
the S sound. Watch again.
I hope this study in linking words with the TH will make it easy for you to link any word
with the TH that you may come across. Practice word pairs like the 10 here, or other word
pairs, and do them slowly. And practice them over and over. Repetition really will help
you become more comfortable linking with the TH sound.
That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.
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be an 8-week conversation course that runs in April and May of 2012. It will bring together
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