Pronunciation of Final S

Sources

Points

Concepts

Rules with Details

  1. The ending is pronounced /s/ after a voiceless sound, it is pronounced /z/ after a voiced sound and is pronounced /ɪz / or /əz/ after a sibilant sound
    1. examples
      1. Voiceless: helps /ps/ -- sits /ts/ -- looks /ks/
      2. Voiced: crabs /bz/ -- words /dz/ -- gloves /vz/
      3. Sibilant: buses /sɪz / or /səz /, bridges /dʒɪz / or /dʒəz /, wishes /shɪz / or /shəz /
  2. Sound categories
    1. The /ɪz/ sound (or /əz/ sound)
      1. details: Sometimes this sound is written as /əz/ and uses the symbol "schwa" or "upside down e" before the z. For ease we will write this sound as /ɪz/ or /iz/
      2. details: If the last consonant sound of the word is a sibilant sound (a hissing or buzzing sound), the final S is pronounced as /ɪz/.
        1. This /ɪz/ sound is pronounced like an extra syllable. (e.g. the word buses has two syllables)
      3. details: If the sound has a J sound (/dʒ/ like the letter J at the beginning of the word jacket or /ʒ/ like the S in pleasure), then the final S is also pronounced as /ɪz/.
      4. examples
        1. C: races (sounds like "race-iz")
        2. S: pauses, nurses, buses, rises
        3. X: fixes, boxes, hoaxes
        4. Z: amazes, freezes, prizes, quizzes
        5. SS: kisses, misses, passes, bosses
        6. CH: churches, sandwiches, witches, teaches
        7. SH: dishes, wishes, pushes, crashes
        8. GE: garages, changes, ages, judges
      5. linked: after verbs ending in -sh, -ch, -ss and -x, we add the -es to the end of the verb (in third person) and the pronunciation is /iz/ as an extra syllable.
    2. The /s/ sound
      1. details: If the last consonant of the word is voiceless, then the S is pronounced as /s/. Be careful not to create an extra syllable.
      2. examples
        1. P: cups stops, sleeps
        2. T: hats, students, hits, writes
        3. K: cooks, books, drinks, walks
        4. F: cliffs, sniffs, beliefs, laughs, graphs (the -gh and -ph here are pronounced like a F)
        5. TH: myths, tablecloths, months (voiceless th)
      3. The /z/ sound
        1. details: If the last letter of the words ends in a voiced consonant (or sound), then the S is pronounced like a Z /z/(without creating another syllable).
          1. This Z sound is similar to the sound a bee makes zzzz.
        2. details: We also use this ending when the word ends in a vowel sound (e.g. bees, flies etc.)
          1. because vowels are voiced sounds
        3. examples
          1. B: crabs, rubs
          2. D: cards, words, rides, ends
          3. G: rugs, bags, begs
          4. L: deals calls, falls, hills
          5. M: plums, dreams
          6. N: fans, drains, runs, pens
          7. NG: kings, belongs, sings
          8. R: wears, cures
          9. V: gloves, wives, shelves, drives
          10. Y: plays, boys, says,
          11. THE: clothes, bathes, breathes
          12. VOWEL SOUNDS: sees, fleas

* cached version, generated at 2021-10-31 20:56:22 UTC.

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