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We were taught in school that when followed by a noun starting with a vowel sound, "the" is pronounced "thee". In other cases, it's pronounced "thuh" (aside from the emphatic "the").

I have noticed that some Americans say "thuh only" and "thuh hour" (these are the only examples I could find off the top of my head). Is this just a regional accent thing or are there exceptions to the simple rule I was taught in class?

marked as duplicate by sumelic, choster, Community Sep 2 '15 at 22:31

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  • Certainly in Britain I predominantly hear 'thee apple' etc. I can think of one friend who said, 'thuh apple' but he was an exception. I can't speak for the USA. – chasly from UK Sep 2 '15 at 22:23
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    @Araucaria: that question is open, so anyone is free to add a better answer there or to add comments suggesting improvements to the existing answers. – sumelic Sep 3 '15 at 0:03
  • @sumelic Yes, but no-one will. The question's too old. And the answers too bad. – Araucaria Sep 3 '15 at 0:04
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    @Araucaria: That's a strange attitude. If the answers are all bad, surely it's even more important to write a good one? In fact, that should make it easier to write an answer that outshines all the others. And why does the age of the question matter? – sumelic Sep 3 '15 at 0:06
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    If you think the system is not working properly, you can always make a meta post to bring attention to it. We already have a lot of questions about this topic though, we need to consolidate the answers rather than spreading them out over more places. See what Mari-Lou A did for this question: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/6934/… – sumelic Sep 3 '15 at 0:20