The sound /ð/ voiced, dental, fricative consonant




  • "th" – that, northern
  • "the" - breathe, bathe

The consonant /ð/ can be in these consonant clusters:
  • Beginning of a Syllable
  • End of a Syllable
/ðz/ (“ths” / “thes”) - clothes
/ðd/ (“thed”) - bathed
Note: the sound /θ/ (as in “thin”, “think’) is also spelled "th". The sound /θ/ is more common, while the sound /ð/ most frequently occurs in grammatical words (that, them, those) or in the middle of words before -ing or -er (father, clothing).

Grammar Tip:

The article “the” and all demonstrative pronouns (“this, that, these, those”) contain /ð/. These words are very common in spoken English and are often used before nouns.
  • the girl
  • this book
  • that car
  • these students
  • those boys
Also, the sound /ð/ is in several important connecting words. These words are more common in writing, but they may also be used in formal speaking.
  • although
  • therefore
  • furthermore
Compare /ð/ with /d/:

These are both voiced consonants pronounced in a similar position. However, /ð/ is a voiced dental fricative and /d/ is a voiced alveolar stop.
You can hear the difference between /ð/ and /d/ in these words.
1. A. those, B. doze
2. A. then, B. den
3. A. breathe, B. breed
4. A. loathe, B. load
5. A. worthy, B. wordy
6. A. mother, B. mutter

Now, compare /ð/ with /z/:

These are both voiced fricatives pronounced in a similar position. However, /ð/ is a voiced dental fricative and /z/ is a voiced alveolar fricative.
You can hear the difference between /ð/ and /z/ in these words.
1. A. writhe, B. rise
2. A. then, B. zen
3. A. clothe, B. close
4. A. bathe, B. bays
5. A. breathing, B. breezing
6. A. soothe, B. sues
Listen and repeat these words:
1. these
2. theirs
3. then
4. themselves
5. therefore
6. loathe
7. soothe
8. bathe
9. clothes 
10. worthy
11. weather
12. brother
13. either
14. southern
15. breathing
16. rhythm
17. algorithm
18. furthermore
19. otherwise
20. motherly

Now, practice /ð/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
1. rather – bother – this
I’d rather not bother with this class.
2. those – mother – father
Those plants are for my mother and father.
3. the – weather – southern
The weather in the southern US is very warm.
4. another – this – leather
I want another coat, not this leather one.
5. although – farther – rather
Although it’s farther away, I’d rather fly out of Chicago.
6. whether – other – clothing
I’m not sure whether the other clothing will fit me.

To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below:

Consonants /d/ and /g/

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