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常見發音錯誤 Can you say ‘thank you’, or do you say ‘fank you’ or ‘sank you’?

常見發音錯誤 Can you say ‘thank you’, or do you say ‘fank you’ or ‘sank you’?

Posted by Grant Richardson, 6th February, 2016

‘Th’ has two possible sounds – one unvoiced (e.g. “thumb”, “both“) represented by /θ/; the other voiced (e.g. there, breathe) represented by /ð/.

Practice saying these words:

  1. /θ/ bath, cloth, thank, thing, three
  2. /ð/ bathe, clothe, that, this, those

Cantonese native speakers must be careful not to replace /θ/ with /f/:

  • 1.  bath –> baaf,  cloth –> cloff,  thank –> fank,  thing –> fing,  three –> free

And not to replace /ð/ with /d/ or /v/, depending on whether the ‘th’ is at the beginning or end of the syllable:

  • 2a. that –> dat,  this –> dis,  those –> dose
  • 2b. bathe –> bave,  clothe –> clove

Native speakers of many other languages, including Mandarin, might sometimes incorrectly use /s/ for /θ/, and /z/ for /ð/:

  1. bath –> bahss,  cloth –> closs,  thing –> sing,  think –> sink,  sree –> free
  2. bathe –> baze,  clothe –> cloze,  that –> zat,  this –> zis,  those –> zose

For both ‘th’ sounds (voiced /ð/ and unvoiced /θ/), the tongue sits between the top and bottom teeth for both sounds. The bottom lip may touch the bottom of the tip of the tongue.

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