/s/ or /z/?

In American English, s can be pronounced either as /s/ or /z/. As easy as it may sound, in fact, you can be quite confused between the two. But don’t you worry, ELSA is here to offer some help.

Be clear about the difference between /s/ and /z/

  • The /s/ sound:  Relax your mouth a bit. Place the tip of your tongue close to the back of your teeth, but don’t touch them. Let the air out between your teeth to make a hissing sound.
  • The /z/ sound: Place your tongue just like in the s position, but this time, tense your tongue a bit more when you push the air out. If you can feel some sort of vibration, you’ve done it correctly
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Image: WikiHow

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