Pronunciation and spelling of ‘threshold’ in English

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my guide to the Most Common Pronunciation Errors in English. It will teach you about commonly mispronounced words, pro­nunci­ation patterns, and the basics of English phonology.

Popular etymologies of the kind that “threshold” was a plank placed at the doorway to hold pieces of grains inside during threshing (getting rid of inedible parts of grains) are unfortunately completely wrongthe word comes from Old English þrescold.

Be that as it may, you can still use the popular etymology to remember that it is indeed pronounced as “thresh-hold”, i.e. /ˈθrɛʃhəʊld/ (thresh-həuld) in the UK resp. /ˈθrɛʃhoʊld/ (thresh-hoh’ld) in the US.

For native speakers, the major challenge is naturally its spelling, not the pronunciation. There’s no way around learning by heart that the word is spelled without the “h”, although it is there in pronunciation.

This article was based on my guide to English pronunciation mistakes, which explains many similar topics. Why don’t you check it out?

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