Author: British Council | Published on 1 March 2023


Many learners have problems with the /θ/ sound and end up saying ‘tree’ for ‘three’ and ‘tin’ for ‘thin’. There are three ways in which you can help learners produce the sound accurately. 

Say: ‘Press the tip of your tongue to the back of your upper front teeth. Now say “three”.’

If this doesn’t work say: ‘Gently bite the tip of your tongue. Now say “three”.’

Finally, you could use the ‘wet finger’ trick. Say: ‘Place your finger in front of your mouth as if showing “Be quiet!” Now say “three”. Your tongue should gently touch your finger making it wet.’

Don’t worry if these tricks don’t work the first time. Keep practising regularly and you might be surprised by the results.