When is the not the?
Some teachers seem to think that it’s okay to drill the pronunciation of the word the as the, as if the is always the.
I’m here to tell you that the is not always pronounced as the.
The is not the when it comes before a vowel.
When the comes before a vowel sound it’s pronounced as the not the.
For instance, the apple, the elephant, the ice cream, the onion, the umbrella.
Notice that I said it is the when it comes before a vowel sound, not a vowel letter.
Some words which begin with a vowel letter do not begin with a vowel sound.
Take unicorn, for instance.
Unicorn begins with the letter U, but it begins with the consonant sound J.
So the before unicorn is the, as in the unicorn. It’s the same for the university, the uniform, but not the unfinished Symphony.
If no one has ever told you this before, your British English pronunciation is going to improve dramatically from now on.
And come on teachers, all you have to do is listen to yourself speaking if you want to know how we really speak and want to properly educate your students.