in British English

In this lesson, we will learn about all the sounds of the letter Z. It is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the English alphabet. Let's begin, then.

"The Letter Z" in the English Alphabet

Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the English alphabet.

Consonants are sounds that are pronounced with restriction in the vocal tract.

Uppercase Form Z
Lowercase z
Name zed (pronounced /ˈzɛd/)
Common Sounds /z/, /s/

The Letter Z: Sounds

Common Sounds

The letter Z has two common sounds:

Sound 1: /z/

The letter 'z' normally sounds /z/ before a vowel:

zero /ˈzɪərəʊ/

zigzag /ˈzɪɡzæɡ/

lizard /ˈlɪzəd/

sneeze /sniːz/

Sound 2: /s/

The letter 'z' also sounds /s/ if it is placed after a consonant:

Waltz /wɔːlts/

pretzel /ˈpretsl/

eczema /ˈeksmə/

ritz ˈrɪts/

The Letter Z: Multigraphs

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

zz

'zz' sounds /z/:

puzzle /ˈpʌzl/

blizzard /ˈblɪzəd/

fizzy /ˈfɪzi/

Tip

However, 'zz' in the loanword 'pizza' sounds /ts/.

pizza /ˈpiːtsə/

Warning

The letter 'zu' sounds /ʒ/ in the word /seizure/:

seizure /ˈsiːʒə(r)/

The Letter Z: Use

The letter Z can be
Synonym with 'sleep' in informal North American English if it is used plural: Z's, like: I want to catch some Z's.

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