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Hello there,
Today suddenly, some co-workers talked about the pronunciation of "an" and "the". As a general rule, aren't they pronounced as "an (as in ant)" and "thee" for words beginning in vowels?
Having a few of them mention that they've studied them to be generally pronounced as "an(eon)" and "the (duh)", but only as "an (as in ant)" and "thee" when being stressed, I walked out with a big question in my midst.
Are they indeed only pronounced in a special way as "an (as in ant)" and "thee" when being stressed? and what does being stressed mean (how does one determine if they are stressed)?
If anyone could be of some assistance, it would be greatly appreciated.
hongKM
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AnonymousAs a general rule, aren't they pronounced as "an (as in ant)" and "thee" for words beginning in vowels?
Yes. I am not familiar with any of those remarks about stressed forms. I don't know what your co-workers might mean.

CJ
Comments  
It depends, to some extent, on your local dielect. I was born in North East England and I agree with your pronunciation.
People from London might disagree. People from parts of America would certainly disagree.

In some southern states, for example, they pronounce "than" as "then" or "thei-en" (and frequently write it incorrectly, as a result.)
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.