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The different s-sounds

Words can end in three different s-sounds:
  • [s] which sounds like a snake:
  • [z] which sounds like a bee:
  • [əz]
  • A [s] sound follows words that end with a voiceless sound like [k], [p], [t]: for example after the simple present forms meets, asks, starts, likes, hates and the plural forms plates, books, drinks, lips. Listen to the words.
  • A [z] sound follows words that end with a voiced sound like [b], [d], [l], [m], [n], [v], [ r] or a vowel-sound (a, e, i, o, u, y, ie, …): for example after the simple present forms moves, goes, is, tells, drives and the plural forms planes, names, phones, neighbours, opportunities, boys. Listen to the words.
  • A [əz] sound follows words that end with so-called sibilant sounds like [s], [z], [ʃ], [ʒ], [dʒ], [tʃ]: for example after the simple present form changes, watches, fixes and the plural forms boxes, glasses, houses and the noun bridges Listen to the words.
 
 
 
Listen to the word and decide, which s-sound it ends with.
 
 
 
 
 

  • The word languages ends with the sound
     
    • [s]
       
    • [ɪz]
       
    • [z]
       

  • The word keys ends with the sound
     
    • [z]
       
    • [ɪz]
       
    • [s]
       

  • The word skills ends with the sound
     
    • [ɪz]
       
    • [s]
       
    • [z]
       

  • The word plates ends with the sound
     
    • [z]
       
    • [s]
       
    • [ɪz]
       

  • The form closes ends with the sound
     
    • [ɪz]
       
    • [z]
       
    • [s]
       

  • The word steps ends with the sound
     
    • [z]
       
    • [s]
       
    • [ɪz]
       
 
 
 
 
 
For further audiovisual explanation, watch the following videoclip:
 
 
 
 
 

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