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Breath Vs. Breathe: What Are The Main Differences?

Distinguishing between the word breath and the word breathe is actually pretty simple when you understand the difference between the two words. Whether writing or speaking, you want to use the correct word to keep from being embarrassed by improper word usage.

 

Parts of Speech

Breath

Breath is a noun and it refers to the air that is going in and out of your mouth and nose. Breathe is a verb and refers to the action of pulling air into your lungs through your mouth and nose, then expelling it out through your mouth and nose.

 

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

When speaking, it would be awkward to interchange these two words. The word breath and the word breathe are pronounced differently. Knowing their pronunciation is just as important as knowing their meaning.

The /a/ in breath is the same sound as the /ea/ in bread, bed, head or red. It is a short vowel sound. The /th/ in breath is a soft sound like the /the/ in fourth, tooth or with.

The /a/ in breathe is the same sound as the /ea/ in the breeze, need, real, see. It is a long vowel sound. The /th/ in breath is a hard sound like the /the/ in these and this.

 

Examples of Breath

Here are few example sentences to help you understand how the word breath should be used in a sentence and in speech.

  • You have bad breath.
  • Take a deep breath to calm down.
  • Stop holding your breath.
  • He was gasping for breath when he came out of the water.

 

Examples of Breathe

Here are a few example sentences to help you understand how the word breathe should be used in a sentence and in speech.

  • After the race I could hardly breathe.
  • I finished my test and can now breathe easily.
  • Stay calm and just breathe.
  • When I am not congested, I can breathe freely.

 

Breath

Breathe

  • Noun
  • Verb
  • The air going in and out of your nose and mouth
  • The action of the air going in and out of your nose and mouth
  • Short vowel sound
  • Long vowel sound
  • Soft /th/ sound
  • Hard /th/ sound

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