Another Function of Silent Final <e>: Voiced <th>
1. So far you have worked with three functions of silent final <e>:
a. A final <e> can mark a preceding vowel as being ___________ in the patterns Ve# and Vce.
b. A final <e> can mark a <c> in front of it as being ___________ so that the <c> is pronounced ___________.
c. A final <e> can mark a <g> in front of it as being ___________ so that the <g> is pronounced ___________.
2. There is one other consonant whose sound final <e> can mark. Say these two sentences carefully, paying special attention to the last sound you hear in each underlined word:
I could not get my breath.
I could not breathe.
3. You should hear a difference between the final consonant sounds in the two words. The difference is called voicing. The <th> sound at the end of breathe is voiced. But the <th> sound at the end of breath is unvoiced.
In the front of people's throats you can see a lump that we sometimes call the “Adam's apple.” That lump is actually the voice box, and it contains the vocal cords. When we pronounce voiced sounds, we make those vocal cords buzz. When we pronounce unvoiced sounds, we don't buzz them. That buzzing sound is what we call voicing.
4. The voiced <th> sound at the end of breathe is written [th]. The voiceless <th> sound at the end of breath is written [th].
So the pronunciation of breath would be written [breth], and breathe would be written [brēth].
5. Pronounce these words carefully. If you are unsure of any, ask for help or look them up in the dictionary. Underline the words that end with voiced [th]. Then sort them into the matrix below:
6. A silent final <e> marks a preceding vowel as ___________, a preceding <c> or <g> as ___________, and a preceding <th> as ___________.
Word Venn. In circle A put only words that contain the sound [th]. In circle B put only words that end with a silent <e>. In circle C put only words that contain the sound [u]: