Today is a very special day on the calendar–it’s Leap Day! Today is February 29th, a day that comes around only once every four years, to make sure our calendars remain accurate.
Knowing how to say the calendar dates in English is not only practical, but a great way to practice pronunciation of the “th” consonant sound.
How to Say the Dates in English
(You can also practice How to Say the Months of the Year in English | Pronunciation & Stress)
In English, we always say the day of the month as an adjective, such as:
- first (1st) | June 1st
- thirtieth (30th) | October 30th
- fifteenth (15th) | May 15th
You can also say the day before the month if you include an “of”, but this is less common and more formal:
- the first (1st) of June
- the thirtieth (30th) of October
- the fifteenth (15th) of May
Because we use the adjective form of the days when saying a date in English, this is a great way to practice your “th” pronunciation.
How to pronounce [θ] and [ð]
Many English language learners have a difficult time with the “th” [θ] and [ð] sounds, because their first language simply does not have these sounds.
To produce the “th” [θ] or [ð], you must:
- put the tip of your flat, relaxed tongue between the teeth; and
- blow out air.
- To produce [ð], your vocal chords will also vibrate
Listen and Repeat
- [θ] (no vibration | “voiceless”)
- [ð] (vibration | “voiced”)
Did you feel the difference?
If the tongue does not go between the teeth for [θ] or [ð], English language learners often produce:
- [s] or [t] instead of [θ] (Example: “thought” –> “sought”; “thanks” –> “tanks”)
- [z] or [d] instead of [ð] (Example: “there” –> “zer”; “those” –> “doze”)
Listen and Repeat
- “I was born on February 20th” [TWEN tiy yith] or [TWEN niy yith]
- 20th” [TWEN tiy yith] or [TWEN niy yith]
- “The wedding is on the 15th of March” [fif TEENTH]
- 15th [fif TEENTH]
- “Her party is on July 10th” [TENTH]
- 10th [TENTH]
- “School starts August 30th” [THUR diy yeth]
- 30th [THUR diy yeth]
- “My birthday is October 5th” [fifth] or [fith]
- 5th” [fifth] or [fith]
- 20th [TWEN tiy yith] –> [TWEN niy yith]
- 5th [fifth] –> [fith]