is pronounced with an e sound, as in bee or flea,
before a noun or adjective beginning with a vowel or a vowel sound,
so we would say:
the ark, the angry ants, the antelopes, the
elephants, the iguanas, the ostriches
and the unhappy hippos all knew that the hour had
come. It was time to go to sleep.
is pronounced with an er sound, as in mother, father,
brother, before a noun or an adjective beginning with a consonant
or a consonant sound, so we would say:
bank and the post office are in the High Street next
to the university building.
practise these sentences, each of which contains two pronunciations
of the with the e sound and two pronunciations of
the with the er sound.
Irish and the Welsh forwards were fitter and faster than
the English and the Scots.
the qualifiers for the World Cup the Argentine team
was the only one to win all their matches. Is this true?
FBI agent and the FIFA official were arguing about the
best tickets for the Italy and the Brazil match. (Note
that the F in FBI starts with a vowel sound, as
in when or then, whereas the F in FIFA starts with
a consonant sound as it is pronounced as one word)
the one-pound coin nor the two-pound coin could
be used in the amusement arcade at the airport.
(Note that the o in one is pronounced as a consonant
sound as in won.)
RSPCA and the NSPCC are concerned about the protection
of animals and the prevention of cruelty to children. (Note
that the R in RSPCA starts with a vowel sound as
in car or far and that the N in NSPCC also starts
with a vowel sound as men or hen.)
RSPCA is the Royal Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals and the NSPCC is the National
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
you notice how much easier it is to say the, as in see,
rather then the, as in brother, when a vowel sound
follows, the Irish, rather than the Irish? Note how
the first pronunciation just flows off the tongue, whereas the second
that all abbreviations said as individual letters which begin with
A, E, F, H, I, L, M, N, O, R, S, or X are pronounced
as vowel sounds. They are therefore preceded by the as in
see and an, rather than a, see below.