How to Pronounce the /s/ Sound

As you know, the /s/ sound is common in many English words. Do you have it in your mother tongue? Let's learn about it then.

How to Pronounce the /s/ Sound

In this lesson, we will learn how to pronounce the /s/ sound with the appropriate articulatory organs.

What Type of Sound Is /s/?

/s/ is a consonant sound in the English language.

How to Produce /s/?

how to pronounce /s/

As you can see in picture (b), the tongue plays a major part in the production of this sound. In order to produce this sound, the tongue raises a bit upwards and its sides slightly touch the back side of the front teeth. The tip of the tongue is just behind the front teeth. Note that it does not touch the back of the teeth. Also, the uvula is blocking the air passing through the nose. So, the air comes out of the mouth. As it is clear in picture (b), the circle in the throat is grey which indicates that we do not need to vibrate our vocal cords. So, it is voiceless.
In picture (a), the lips and teeth are slightly parted so as to let the air out.
In picture (c ), you can clearly see where exactly the tongue is put. The sides of the tongue must make contact with the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. Below, there are the letters that represent this sound:

Sassy /sæs.i/

Spoon /spuːn/

Say /seɪ/

Sick /sɪk/

  • When c precedes i, e, or y: s

Cinderella /sɪn.dərˈel.ə/

Cyberpunk /saɪbərˌpʌŋk/

Ceremony /ser.ə.mə.ni/

Warning!

Note that whenever the letter S comes after another S, a voiced consonant, or a vowel, its sound changes to /z/. Compare:

Series /sɪr.iːz/

Socks /sɑːks/

/s/ Sound in 17 Most Common World Languages

As you can see in the table below, all of the common languages spoken around the world have the /s/ sound. So, it will not be difficult for you to produce it. Look:

The Languages Do You Have It? Examples
Mandarin
Spanish saltador/estar
Hindustani साल/سال
Bengali রাস্তা
Portuguese caço
Russian волосы
Japanese 複数形
Vietnamese xa
Marathi साप
Turkish su
French façade
German biss
Italian sali
Persian سیب
Arabic (Standard) جَلَسَ
Korean

Listening

Below, there is an audio file that helps you learn the proper pronunciation of the /s/ sound:

Comments

Loading recaptcha

You might also like

How to Pronounce the /v/ Sound

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
In this lesson, we're gonna delve into all the details about the /v/ sound. Do you wanna improve your English language proficiency? Let's go then.

How to Pronounce the /θ/ Sound

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
This sound is one of the hardest sounds in the English language. No need to worry, though. We will teach you how you can easily produce it.

How to Pronounce the /ð/ Sound

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
Another one of the most difficult sounds in English is /ð/. No need to worry, though. I will guide you through. Let's go, shall we?

How to Pronounce the /z/ Sound

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
In this lesson, we're going to learn about the details of the /z/ sound. Even if you do not have it in your mother tongue, it's alright.

How to Pronounce the /ʒ/ Sound

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
This time, we're going to work on the details of the /ʒ/ sound. Are you ready? Do you wanna improve your English language proficiency?

How to Pronounce the /ʃ/ Sound

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
Here, we're gonna learn about the /ʃ/ sound. I know that it looks a bit weird, but trust me, it's as easy as a piece of cake.
LanGeek
Download LanGeek app