“th”- Initial Word Position

“th”- Initial Word Position

The “th” sound often needs practice because people feel uncomfortable sticking out their tongue. Putting the tongue tip between your teeth is necessary to make the “th” accurately.

Learn how to make the sound, listen to the difference between “th” and common substitutions and then practice saying the “th” in words and sentences. Finally, familiarize yourself with common spelling variations for “th”.

For more practice, listen to the audio file and follow along with the print exercises.

*not recorded

How to make the “th” sound

Structures: tongue tip between the top and bottom teeth
Air Flow: continuous
Voicing: voiceless

Place your tongue tip between your top and bottom teeth. Blow air continuously down the centre of the tongue and between the teeth. Do not vibrate the vocal cords.

Listening Exercise:

th letter sound s letter sound
thumb some
think sink
theme seam
*thing *sing
*thaw saw
th letter sound t letter sound
theme team
thorn torn
thumbs Tums™
*thought taught
*three tree

Speaking Exercises:

  1. thank
  2. think
  3. theatre
  4. theory
  5. thought
  6. thief
  7. thumb
  8. thousand
  9. thunder
  10. thing
  11. *thaw
  12. *thermos
  13. *thigh
  14. *thirty
  15. *thirteen
  16. *three
  17. *thirsty
  18. *thick
  19. *theme
  20. *Thursday
  21. *thirty-three

Pronounce the “th” sound in these sentences:

  1. I said thank-you to my sister.
  2. Do you think that we should go to the theatre tonight?
  3. Darwin had many theories about evolution.
  4. Ian thought he would go to the Christmas party.
  5. The thief stole all of our belongings.
  6. *He hammered his thumb.
  7. *Do you remember where Nathan was living in 2003?
  8. *Did you hear the thunder in last night’s storm?
  9. *Could you thaw out three thick steaks for supper?
  10. *I get very thirsty when it’s thirty degrees outside.

“th” Spelling Variations:

  • th thick