How to pronounce /s/ and /z/ in English

The first tongue twister we will look at together practises the /s/ sound - "Singing Sammy sung songs on sinking sand". The next one though is much harder (and longer) as it puts the /s/ and /z/ sounds together. The tongue twister is "Denise sees the fleece, Denise sees the fleas. At least Denise could sneeze and feed and freeze the fleas". Take it slowly in order to get it right!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

"Singing Sammy..."

In this tongue twister we're going to look at the /s/ sound and we're also going to compare that with the /z/ sound. Now the difference between the two is that the first one /s/ this sound is in your mouth. This is what we call an unvoiced sound. The second one is what we call a voiced sound. That means that there's a vibration down here in your vocal chords. So you can feel...if you put your hand on your throat, you can feel your vocal chords vibrating. This sound is in your mouth. The /z/ sound is down in your throat, in your vocal chords. We'll look at a simple one to begin with just to practise the /s/ sound, the unvoiced /s/. So here's the tongue twister. "Singing Sammy sung songs on sinking sand". So that's quite an easy one because we're only dealing with the unvoiced /s/ sound. And here are the vowel sounds for that tongue twister

OK, now we're going to practise those two sounds together, so we're going to alternate between /s/ and /z/ but at least in this one the vowel sound...we're only really focusing on one vowel sound, which is /i:/ so the focus here is very much on /s/ and /z/. "Denise sees the fleece, Denise sees the fleas. At least Denise could sneeze and feed and feed the fleas".

So your homework is to practise those tongue twisters.

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How to pronounce /s/ and /z/ in English