Thursday, September 22, 2011


According to The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, there's a rule on how to pronounce "the." It's "/thuh/ before words beginning with consonants and /thee/ before words beginning with vowels."

Seriously? I had no idea. I think I always say /thuh/.


  1. What about in Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

  2. OH my goodness, that's hilarious Kansas Mom. That is one of the things that drives me super crazy, when people don't use that appropriately. That and the pronunciation of neither with a long e.

  3. David, I would still say "thuh."

    Monica, I think I always say neither with a long i sound, but I looked it up on and they actually give neither with a long e as the first pronunciation.

    Apparently, if enough people say something incorrectly long enough, the rule changes. (Oh, isn't English wonderful?) Guess I'm in the messing-with-the-language crowd on "thuh."

    I still can't believe I never knew it. I think it's too late for me to change my ways, too.

  4. I think I learned that one with all my years singing in choirs. They stressed how you had to look ahead to the next word to make sure you pronounced "the" correctly. Isn't that funny?

    I'm sure there are a few things I say the wrong way! It seems like there is something I avoid saying because I always get mixed up which way to say it. You can't really avoid "the," though! :)

  5. Today, as I was reading lessons aloud to the children, I paid special attention to how I pronounced "the" and I think I do follow the rule most of the long as I don't think too much about it.

    Not all the time, though.

    And now I'm confused why I'm supposed to teach /thee/ when we do "the" as a sight word when /thuh/ seems like the more frequent pronunciation (more words starting with consonants).

  6. Oh! I have always done that, but had no idea it was the right thing to do! Funny. My children always ask me why I say it differently at different times, and I couldn't explain it to them, and always say, "I just do."

    Now I will sound so smart giving them an answer. ;) Thanks!


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