How to Pronounce X in American English

How to Pronounce X in American English 

How to pronounce the letter X

How to pronounce the letter X

Do you know how to pronounce the letter X in American English?

My accent reduction coaching clients are usually surprised to learn that the letter X has two different sounds.

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know this. Native speakers don’t know this either!!

Here are the rules for pronouncing the letter X

Rule 1 

When the letter X is followed by a stressed vowel sound, it’s pronounced like /gz/.
Here are a few examples:

1. exact               egzact

2. exactly          egzactly

3. example       egzample

4. exam            egzam

5. examine      egzamine

Rule 2 

When the letter  X is followed by a consonant sound it is pronounced like /ks/.

1. extreme            ekstreme

2. extinguish       ekstinguish

3. expect               ekspect

4. context             contekst

5. next                   nekst

Listen here


The pronunciations of  the letter X are often difficult for Chinese, Vietnamese & Spanish speakers.

I tell my clients who are learning these sounds to take it slow and try to feel the voicing in the /gz/ sound.

I Teach You How

Using voiced consonant sounds such as /g/, /z/ & /d/ correctly is very important for clear American pronunciation.

I teach you how to used voiced sounds to make your American speech sound more clear and professional in my Skype accent reduction coaching program.