My question is can I always pronounce THE with thuh instead of thee? Because unlike "a" "an" rule, pronouncing "thee" seems cumbersome for some people (including me) Note that I know the "emphasis" and "vowel, consonant" rule about THE but I still prefer to pronounce it as thuh everytime. So can I??
closed as primarily opinion-based by Robusto, anongoodnurse, choster, user66974, aedia λ May 30 '14 at 18:26
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I hadn't thought about this at all but now I have I don't think I say thee for words that start with vowels.
thuh apple, thuh energy plant, thuh interesting fact, thuh umbilical cord it's all the same as thuh dog. I might sound a bit more theeish when I say the oil rig but it's nowhere near a thee more like a very short they .
I do say an apple and an hour and my lack of thee didn't hold me back in life.
Sure you can: if and only if you find a apple and a hour to be grammatical.
I, personally, do not, and so cannot generate
/ðə/ before a vowel sound — in my language.
Remember that the English definite article has three distinct pronunciations. Per the OED, these are:
- before a consonant sound:
- before a vowel sound other than /i/:
- before another /i/ sound:
- used emphatically:
You can of course do whatever you please; most people do.
But be warned that there are those who will think less of you, whether out of ignorance or intent, for flagrantly flouting established spoken English usage based not on made-up rules but on actual (phonologic) laws governing this.