How to Pronounce "the" in English
Normally, we pronounce "the" with a short sound (like "thuh"). But when "the" comes before a vowel sound, we pronounce it as a long "thee".
||the ugli fruit
||thee ugli fruit|
It is important to understand that it is what we say that matters, not what we write. It is the sound that matters, not the letter used in writing a word. So we use a long "thee" before a vowel sound, not necessarily before a vowel. Look at these cases:
Emphatic the [thee]
When we wish to place emphasis on a particular word, we can use "emphatic the" [thee], whether or not the word begins with a consonant or vowel sound. For example:
A: I saw the [thuh] President yesterday.
B: What! The [thee] President of the United States?
A: Yes, exactly.