Embarrassing English Errors Ep17: Turd & Third

In this episode of Embarrassing English Errors Ep17: Turd & Third I teach you the difference in pronunciation between the words “Turd” and “Third”.

Embarrassing English Errors Ep17 – Turd & Third

G’day guys, and welcome to this episode of Embarrassing English Errors. Today we’re going to go over the words “Turd” and “Third”. So, this is a difficult one I know at least from a lot of French speakers. They have a little bit of a difficulty with the “Theh” sound as opposed to “Teh” or “Zeh” which they often say. And, obviously if you confuse the two words “Turd” and “Third”, “Turd” meaning a poo, a shit, a crap. It’s a very benign and non-offensive way of saying a poo, a turd. And “A third”, which is one part of something that has been divided into three. So, you could have a third of a cake or a third of a cake if the cake has been cut into three pieces. That is one third. And obviously if you confuse these words it can lead to some embarrassing situations like if instead of saying, “I want a third” you accidentally say, “I want a turd”, that even if someone’s going to know what you’re talking about it’s going to be awkward at least for a second where they’re thinking, “What do you mean you want a turd? What are you going to do with a turd?”. Um… and also, you know, you could have a situation say someone asked you “How much of the pie is he eating?” and instead of saying, “He’s eating a third”, you accidentally say, “He’s eating a turd”. So, they’re those sort of situations that can arise if you mispronounce these… these words.

So, what are some other words in English that have the “Teh” sound in them, “Teh”, “Teh”. Similar to “Turd”?










And what are some other words that sound like “Third” in English?






So, we can go through the different sounds now 5 times between “Thur” and “Tur”:

Thur – tur x 5

And, now we’ll just practice some different vowel sounds in English. I think I’ve got most of the vowels that are used in English, and I will go through each of these vowel sounds with “Theh” and “Teh” before them.

Thigh – Tigh

Thi – Ti

Thay – Tay

Thow – Tow

Thee – Tee

Thow – Tow

Thue – Tue

Thair – Tare

Thah – Tah

Thear – Tear

Thore – Toar

Ther – Ter

Thah – Tah

Thoy – Toy

Tho – To

And, we’ll just go through “Turd” and “Third” 10 times at the end here to practice the difference in pronunciation between these two words one after another.

Turd – third x 10

So, I might try and also describe how I’m making the “T-H” sound, ‘cause I know it’s a pretty difficult one if you don’t use it in your native language. So, when I say “Theh” I’m sort of closing my mouth a little bit, halfway, and I’m pressing my tongue up and against the back of my top teeth, so that when I push air through my mouth instead of going “haaaah” you head “Thhhh” because the tongue is blocking most of the mouth and the air has to go around [and over] the tongue. So, from going “haaaaah” if I’ve pushed my tongue up as I do that it’ll turn into “Thh”. So, you’ll hear “Haaaaahtthhhhhh” like a snake. So, that’s the “Theh” sound.

Anyway, hopefully that helps. I might also just link in a video on YouTube describing how to practice and make these sound, ‘cause it will probably be a lot easier if you can see someone doing it. And yeah, don’t forget that if you have any other difficulties with English pronunciation between words or just in general send me a message or comment on Facebook and I’ll try and do an episode on what you’re having trouble with as soon as possible. All the best guys!


Check out the video below on how to make the TH sound in English.