When S Sounds Like Z
There is a very confusing aspect of the S sound in American English.
S has more of a light Z sound in some common words when the S
follows a vowel. This rule is not constant. As a good example: is
has the Z sound, but this does not. The phonetic rule is this: if S
follows a vowel or a voiced consonant, it sounds like Z. However,
because there are exceptions and this rule is already a subtle one, I
recommend that you simply be aware of it and listen for it. Also,
begin to use it in some of the common words listed below:
is rise pose eyes confuse easy says (sounds like "sez")
was raise rose ties these reason days
his lose mows flies those movies shoes
has use flows good-byes because visit busy
If you use the Z in a few common words, your awareness will build
naturally and your ear will pick up on the sound when other people
in your everyday life use it in other words. This sound is soft. As it
comes at the end of the word, it is quite brief. The only real
difference between this and a regular S is that you're vibrating the
sound a little bit. Notice that the words above follow sound patterns. You can do the
same as you listen for this sound. If you hear it in one word, other
similar words are likely to have it too. © 2012 PronunciationPro.com All rights reserved.