The Letter X

In this lesson, we will learn about all the sounds of the letter X. It is the twenty-fourth and third-to-last letter of the English alphabet. Let's continue.

"The Letter X" in the English Alphabet

X is the twenty-fourth and third-to-last letter in the English alphabet. It is a consonant.

Consonants are the letters that are produced by stopping the letter from flowing easily.

Uppercase Form X
Lowercase x
Name ex (pronounced /ˈɛks/)
Main Sound /ks/

The Letter X: Sounds

Main Sound

The letter X has three sounds:

Sound 1: /ks/

'x' at the end of words sound /ks/:

ox /ɑːks/

fax /fæks/

six /sɪks/

Other Sounds

Sound 2: /ɡz/

'x' in the middle of words also sounds /gz/:

exam /ɪɡˈzæm/

anxiety /æŋˈzaɪəti/

Sound 3: /z/

'x' at the beginning of words sounds /z/:

xylophone /ˈzaɪləfəʊn/

xenophobia /ˌzenəˈfəʊbiə/

xanthan /ˈzænθən/

Tip

'x' in the French loanword faux sounds silent /∅/:

faux /fəʊ/

The Letter X: Multigraphs

'X' can be combined with other letters, mainly consonants.

xh

'xh' sounds /gz/, in other words 'h' is silent /∅/:

exhausted /ɪɡˈzɔːstɪd/

exhibit /ɪɡˈzɪbɪt/

exhilarated /ɪɡˈzɪləreɪtɪd/

xious

'xious' sounds /kʃəs/:

anxious /ˈæŋkʃəs/

noxious /ˈnɑːkʃəs/

Tip

Note that xia sounds /ʃ/ in the loanword Xiaomi.

Warning

'xual' at the end of the word sexual sounds /kʃuəl/:

sexual /ˈsekʃuəl/

'xu' sounds /kʃə/ in the middle of the word luxury:

luxury /ˈlʌkʃəri/

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