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Can your 4 year old say "the"?

(23 Posts)
sylar Sun 31-May-09 17:40:25

DS1 (4 in april) is coming on really well with his reading but it has made me reaslise that he is really struggling with the word "the". It either comes out as "v" or "du" or some odd combination of the two. he also says "f" instead of "th" eg "I am free years old"

Is this normal at his age?

Tortoise Sun 31-May-09 17:42:30

My DD is nearly 5 and has only learned to say 'the' since being at school.

littlebrownmouse Sun 31-May-09 17:43:09

Totally normal. My DD (4 tomorrow) can't.
Most of my year four class can't although some of that is habit!
DS is six and can say it, started saying it in reception I reckon. he's an ace reader, had no effect whatosever!

FabulousBakerGirl Sun 31-May-09 17:43:26

I think he can sat the (4 in 2 weeks) but he can't say yes, tellow, etc. His y's are still w's. Weh for yes.

FabulousBakerGirl Sun 31-May-09 17:43:51

say the...

nevergoogledragonbutter Sun 31-May-09 17:48:05

your 3 year old can read? shock

sylar Sun 31-May-09 17:48:24


Its funny because he seems so grown up in some ways and so little in others.

Presumably from a redaing point of view it doesn't really matter anyway? We are calling "the" a "magic word" that he just has to learn to recognise because it isn't phonetic and so he wouldn't be able to work out the sounds. So it probably doesn't matter that he can't pronounce it?

LyraSilvertongue Sun 31-May-09 17:48:32

DS2 (4) can but he still says wid instead of with.

letsgostrawberrypicking Sun 31-May-09 17:49:02

Ds1 is 5.5 and still says "yis and yat" for "this and that". We saw speech therapist 2 months ago and she said not to worry at all, it's very normal. She only advised that we repeated the word correctly i.e. "Mummy what is yat?" "THAT ds is ..." and t seems to have helped

FabulousBakerGirl Sun 31-May-09 17:49:59

Juat tried to get him to say the and he wouldn't co operate. Will have to listen when he is jabbering away.

sylar Sun 31-May-09 17:53:29

nevergoogle no he was four in april (but the I am free years old thing had stuck in my mind so I used it as an example). His reading is quite good though. He's doing oxford reading tree stage 3. We try to do ten minutes every couple of days.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 31-May-09 17:56:26

DD couldn't pronounce th until some time in YR. Her (twelve year old) teacher pointed it out to us, as if we might not have noticed. hmm

I don't think it really connects with reading. DD has always had an extraordinary vocabulary and in YR zipped along very quickly with her reading, even if the pronunciation was sometimes awry!

bubblagirl Sun 31-May-09 17:57:15

my speech therapist said the isnt expected until they are 5

stringerbell Mon 01-Jun-09 10:43:22

Message withdrawn

Weegiemum Mon 01-Jun-09 10:49:44

My 5yo dd2 still says 't' instead of 'c/k' - calls her big sister "Tatherine" for example. SALT friend told us not to wworry - she can say c but when she is jabbering away it comes out as t

Ds (7) has only just recently started managing "th". He's in P2.

OrmIrian Mon 01-Jun-09 10:52:13

DS#2 is 6 and he still says 'v' for 'th' quite often. It will pass.

foreveroptimistic Mon 01-Jun-09 10:52:36

My nearly 5 year old is progressing really well throgh the reading schemes but still can't manage "th".

GooseyLoosey Mon 01-Jun-09 10:54:41

dd(4) pronounces it "v". As this was causing problems with learning phonics at school (ie she thought the sound was completely different), we have spent a little while looking at where mummy's tongue is when she says "the". Dd gets it right sometimes now and othertimes not, but at least she now gets that there are 2 different sounds!

ladydivine Tue 02-Jun-09 21:16:43

The 'th' sound in words like 'the' and 'that', along with the 'th' sound in 'think' and 'three' are the two of the last consonant sounds that children acquire. Some may not even acquire them (this is particularly related to the 'th' in 'think' -happening a lot in the UK at the moment, more kids using 'f' instead of 'th'). In fact hardly any languages in the world have these sounds. But yes, sometimes these sounds can take a lot longer to appear than you would hope, I wouldnt worry about it.

thisisyesterday Tue 02-Jun-09 21:21:35

my 4 year old struggles with "th"

he still says 'at instead of that and 'ough instead of though etc.

mumof3tobe Wed 03-Jun-09 01:50:57

My 5.2 year old DS has just managed it a couple of months ago. He's the type that will give in if he can't get it first time. My DD 3.5 year old has been saying for a while now, but she is the type to keep trying if she can't get it first time. So they are all different and will get it in their own time.

Claire2009 Wed 03-Jun-09 01:58:09

3.5yo Dd can say that, the, though.

thirtypence Wed 03-Jun-09 02:00:58

Ds is 6 and can't say the sound "th" in the word "nothing". A singing teacher friend says it's very common.

He can say it at the start of words because of doing Jolly Phonics at school.

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