Is there a clear pronunciation difference between three/free or thought/fought? Watch

This discussion is closed.
2026
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
Is there a clear pronunciation difference between three/free or thought/fought?
0
Chumbaniya
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#2
Report 12 years ago
#2
(Original post by -1984-)
Is there a clear pronunciation difference between three/free or thought/fought?
Hell yes!
1
by-torslayshisfoe
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#3
Report 12 years ago
#3
(Original post by -1984-)
Is there a clear pronunciation difference between three/free or thought/fought?
What the **** are you talking about?

****, is state education THAT bad?
1
kookabura
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#4
Report 12 years ago
#4
Yep!

There really should be, although it is fairly common that people pronounce their 'th' as a 'f' (but not normally the other way round.)

Your location is down as a Londoner, so I'm guessing even if you aren't from the UK originally you are here now. Just try listening to people talking and you should be able to here the difference between words.

Do you mind me asking why you are asking this?
2
omicronlyrae
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#5
Report 12 years ago
#5
(Original post by -1984-)
Is there a clear pronunciation difference between three/free or thought/fought?
good god yes, there should be.

people are just too lazy to pronounce TH-
2
2026
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#6
(Original post by Cathie86)
Yep!

There really should be, although it is fairly common that people pronounce their 'th' as a 'f' (but not normally the other way round.)

Your location is down as a Londoner, so I'm guessing even if you aren't from the UK originally you are here now. Just try listening to people talking and you should be able to here the difference between words.

Do you mind me asking why you are asking this?
I've been told by a friend that I pronounce three as free. Some people I know don't really see a difference, but others have claimed that there is an obvious difference.
0
DragTap
Badges: 0
#7
Report 12 years ago
#7
"th"s should generally (when they're supposed to sound like "f"s) be made by an unvocalised forcing of air out with the tongue against the top row of teeth, creating a "hissier" sound than the unvocalised f, forcing air out through the bottom lip meeting the top row of teeth.
0
generalebriety
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#8
Report 12 years ago
#8
(Original post by -1984-)
I've been told by a friend that I pronounce three as free. Some people I know don't really see a difference, but others have claimed that there is an obvious difference.
"F" is pronounced by putting your bottom lip against your top teeth and blowing air through the gap. "Th" is pronounced the same way, but with your tongue and not your bottom lip. It does sound different - apart from the obvious difference of it 'echoing' in a different part of your mouth, "th" is often shorter and sharper than "f". Also, the tongue doesn't touch the same part of the teeth in "th" as the lip does in "f" - the lip touches the bottom edge of the teeth, the tongue normally touches the teeth slightly further back.

But then who pronounces words right nowadays anyway?

Edit: oops, stole DragTap's point... and was five minutes late about it. :p:
0
tbtommyb
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#9
Report 12 years ago
#9
I get them mixed up sometimes, I don't know why. But there should be a difference. My speech is messed up sometimes, I put words in the wrong order and everything.
0
kookabura
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#10
Report 12 years ago
#10
(Original post by -1984-)
I've been told by a friend that I pronounce three as free. Some people I know don't really see a difference, but others have claimed that there is an obvious difference.


There is a difference between 'th' and 'f', but I guess you notice it more when it is pronounced wrong than if it is being pronounced right. You don't tend to notice how something is being said until it is said differently or wrong and then you can see the difference. So maybe some of your friends don't notice a difference between three/free etc as they aren't really thinking about it. Whereas if you focus on it you can hear a difference, or if it is being said wrong.

Its up to you what you want to do about it, maybe try asking a couple of good friends or family what they think you pronounce them like, or try recording youself talking onto a tape for a couple of minutes so you can hear what you sound like. Chances are it doesn't make a huge difference, I'm sure people can still understand what you are saying anyway. You could try and make an effort to change the way you pronounce it if you want, but it will take a fair amount of time for it to become 'natural' in you everyday speech. Try listening to different people talking and see if you can pick up on how it is pronounced.
0
Leigh
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#11
Report 12 years ago
#11
Most definitely.
The other day, whilst speaking a rather 'f' heavy sentance, I mispronounced the number 3 as 'free'. I was very disappointed in myself.

Although it does depend on region. A friend of mine from Newcastle told me himself he didn't realise until he got to Uni that he can't pronounce 'th', it's an identical sound to 'f' as far as he's concerned.
0
Juwel
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#12
Report 12 years ago
#12
Of course there is. And in situations requiring formality I make sure that people know I know this. But with mates and such, "th" easily becomes "f".
0
soup_dragon87
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#13
Report 12 years ago
#13
(Original post by -1984-)
Is there a clear pronunciation difference between three/free or thought/fought?
For those who were properly brought up, yes. Pronunciation (and grammar) are/should be part of a good education.
0
Thud
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#14
Report 12 years ago
#14
(Original post by -1984-)
I've been told by a friend that I pronounce three as free. Some people I know don't really see a difference, but others have claimed that there is an obvious difference.
tbh i can't really hear a difference. but anyway we haven't all got posh "received pronunciation", so who really gives a damn except them toffs who want to wear their eton education on their sleeve? :rolleyes:

according to a mate i say three as free and can't say teeth, I doubt this has had any major impact on my life :rolleyes:
0
FrenchGal
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#15
Report 12 years ago
#15
I'm French, and even I can tell the difference...
0
mr_person
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#16
Report 12 years ago
#16
(Original post by Thud)
tbh i can't really hear a difference. but anyway we haven't all got posh "received pronunciation", so who really gives a damn except them toffs who want to wear their eton education on their sleeve? :rolleyes:
Its not about being posh. Its about making it easier for people to understand what you are saying. If you regularly deviate from RP it can become more difficult for the average person to understand you. If you don't care whether people understand what you're saying that isn't a problem though.
0
Thud
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#17
Report 12 years ago
#17
(Original post by mr_person)
Its not about being posh. Its about making it easier for people to understand what you are saying. If you regularly deviate from RP it can become more difficult for the average person to understand you. If you don't care whether people understand what you're saying that isn't a problem though.
and you lose the ability to get what someone's saying if they say (not write) "I fought it was a good idea" rather than "I THought it was a good idea"? :rolleyes:
0
FrenchGal
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#18
Report 12 years ago
#18
It's called communication. Basically, we use the same sounds to understand each other. You can start saying you don't give a ****... but at the end of the day, that's how it works.
0
Thud
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#19
Report 12 years ago
#19
(Original post by FrenchGal)
It's called communication. Basically, we use the same sounds to understand each other. You can start saying you don't give a ****... but at the end of the day, that's how it works.
yeah that's how it works but a TH and an F sound pretty much exactly the same and it's not gonna make a blind bit of difference whether you say Free or THree. I'd reckon that 98% of people wouldn't even notice.
0
Zoecb
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#20
Report 12 years ago
#20
Yes.
1
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Would you turn to a teacher if you were being bullied?

Yes (102)
24.06%
No (322)
75.94%

Watched Threads

View All