The word 'the' can be pronounced two ways. So, how do you know what way to pronounce it?
The word ‘the’ can be pronounced ‘thee’ or ‘thuh’.
Commonly, ‘thee’ is used before a vowel sound, whereas ‘thuh’ is used before a consonant sound. However, this isn’t always the case.
The pronunciation of ‘thee’ can be used to put special emphasis on something.
For example: I spoke to the ‘thee’ Queen!
Using ‘thee’ in this sentence, signifies you spoke to the actual queen.
The pronunciation of ‘thuh’ can be used to describe a certain object/thing, without being specific.
For example: I saw ‘thuh’ queen.
Using ‘thuh’ in this sentence, signifies you saw a queen, but not the real one. You could be referring to a cosplayer, costume, etc.
Note - the pronunciaton of 'thuh' is typically used with words that start with 'u'.
This is because the letter ‘u’ starts with a ‘y’ sound, which is a consonant, rather than vowel.
Examples of 'thee' versus 'thuh':
1. Thuh doctor goes out for a while.
2. Thuh car is fast.
3. Thee animal is wild.
4. Thee door is open. In this sentence, 'thee' is used, as the writer wants to refer to a specific door, rather than just any door.
I open ____ car door for my sister.
____ apple I'm eating is incredibly tasty!
I don't think you've met any of ____ other people here, Lucy.
Today, I met ____ real Britney Spears, she was so nice!
Write three sentences that use the phonetic versions of ‘the’ (‘thuh’/’thee’):