Learn the difference between Breath and Breathe, and pronounce and use these two words correctly! Even native speakers can mess this one up. Breath vs Breath and Breath vs Breathe – get the difference!
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Breath vs. Breathe. Even native speakers mess this one up. In this video, you’ll learn the difference between these two words.
Breath vs. breathe. Breath, with no E at the end, is a noun. And when it’s really cold, you can see your breath. Let’s see if it’s cold enough in here to see my breath. Hhhh. Is it cold enough cause you see it?
What about breathe? This has an E on the end. And now you can see me breathe, it’s a verb. If I breathe very dramatically and loudly, you can see it.
Breathe. Even native speakers mix these up when writing.
Just the other day I saw this comment on Facebook. “I love Michelle Obama so much I can hardly breath.” This is the wrong word. It should be “breathe”, the verb, with an E at the end. The person who wrote this is a native speaker. Went to college. Smart. So, these kinds of mistakes can happen to any of us.
So when you’re writing, remember, the letter E makes the verb, and the word VERB has a letter E in it so maybe that will help you remember.
Now, let’s talk about the difference in pronunciation. The noun, breath, ends with the unvoiced TH, th. The tongue must come through the teeth and be relaxed so the air can flow freely. Thhh. Breath. The vowel here is the EH as in BED vowel. EH. Brea– So your jaw drops, and the middle of the tongue lifts, EH. Breath.
If you add an E at the end to make the verb, it changes two things about the pronunciation, the vowel and the TH. The vowel becomes the EE as in SHE vowel.
Breathe. So the tongue tip stays down and the front part of the tongue arches towards the roof of the mouth. It gets pretty high up there for this vowel. EE. Breathe. And the consonant changes to the voiced TH. Thh– thh– So it’s the same tongue position but you’re making the sound with the vocal cords. Th– breathe.
Now, when a word ends in a voiced consonant like ‘breathe’, instead of an unvoiced consonant like ‘breath’, it makes the word a little longer, the stressed syllable. So hold out that vowel a little more. Part of the difference between these two words is the length. Breath. Breathe. Breathe. You can hear I’m holding out that vowel just a little bit more.
Breath vs. breathe. Now you know the difference and you can say these two words, or write these two words, with confidence.
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