I've been an English student since school, however, I always feel like I'm mispronouncing the word "the".

Oxford online dictionary defines the pronuntiation of 'the' as: /ðə/, /ðiː/, /ðɪ/. So, are the three correct in every situation?, if not, when should I use each of them?


This parallels the use of "a" and "an".

/ðə/ is used before a consonant.

/ðɪ/ is used before a vowel. (Some people might use /ðiː/, but I imagine this would used for emphasis.)

A bit more explanation here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1535_questionanswer/page16.shtml

  • I pronounce it exactly the same way (-uh), regardless of it coming before a consonant or vowel. Unless I intend to emphasize something, then I pronounce it the other way (-ee), again regardless of if it coming before a consonant or vowel. – Jason Bassford Apr 28 at 17:34

It is simple, We pronounce ðɪ before a word which starts with a vowel sound like the (ðɪ) apple and in case of a consonant sound, we pronounce ðə, for an example the (ðə) car. And, ði: is pronounced to emphasise a situation.

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