The Letter S in American English
You may think that you know how to pronounce the letter S in American English.
You may think that you always pronounce it clearly & correctly.
But in my work as an accent reduction coach, I’ve found that most non native speakers don’t pronounce the letter S correctly.
Here are 2 things to know about the letter S
The first thing you need to know, (and this may surprise you) is that the letter S often… very often in fact, has a /z/sound.
The letter S frequently soundz like /z/ in spoken American English.
5 words in which S sounds like /z/
Here are five common words in which the letter S haz a /z/ sound:
- busy bizy
- easy eazy
- husband huzbǝnd
- result rǝzult
- is iz
Pronouncing S at the end of a word
The second thing you need to know is how to pronounce the letter S at the end of a word.
When the letter S occurs at the end of a word it very often has a /z/ sound.
Most people don’t realize that.
Pronouncing this word final S using a voiced /z/ sound is especially important if you want your speech to sound grammatically correct.
If the American listener doesn’t hear a nice sharp /z/ sound at the end of a word, they’ll think that you’re not pronouncing plurals and third person verbs correctly.
This happens all the time. When I tell my accent reduction coaching clients that I can’t hear their articulation of word final S, they feel embarrassed.
They had no idea they were saying this sound incorrectly!
Clear & grammatically correct speech
The people who I work with in my accent reduction programs want: clear, engaging and grammatically correct speech!
Clear communication is critical if you want to sell your ideas, build relationships and make connections.
I can show you how
If you’re a non native English speaker wants to speak clear American English, take a free trial lesson by following the link below.
My training programs will teach you how speak American English in a way that your colleagues will respect and understand!
As Tony Robbins says, “Change your communication, change your life.”
About the author
Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.