Minimal Pair /d/ and /ð/

as in day and they

Below are lists of words that vary only by one having the sound /d/ and the other the sound /ð/ in the same position.

You can use this list to practise the sounds, or as a list of words to be careful in pronouncing.

These are both voiced sounds where the position of the tongue is very important. /ð/ is pronounced with the tongue staying between the teeth, like a voiced version of the sound /θ/ (also usually spelt “th”). With /d/, the tongue taps behind the top front teeth, similar to /t/ but with use of the voice.

Elementary / Pre-Intermediate

D the
dan than
day they
den then
Ds these
had hath
read wreathe


doe though
lied lithe
ride writhe
she’d sheathe
sudden southern


breed breathe
dare there
dough though
dawn thorn
die thy
load loathe
side scythe
sued soothe
udder other


bade bathe
bladder blather
D thee
dine thine
dye thy
header heather
laid lathe
larder lather
reed wreathe
teed teethe
tide tithe
wordy worthy

Written for EnglishClub by Alex Case