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How to Pronounce the s ending

How to Pronounce the s ending

‘s’ endings are sounds that many people struggle to either reproduce correctly or just flat out drop of the end of the word. ‘s’ endings are so important in the English language, meanings, quantity, and comprehension can all be affect by using the wrong sound or no sound at all.

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The question is:

- How to pronounce the s ending?

The answer is:

- In 3 ways - / Z/ or / S/ or / IZ/

Ok ok, that didn’t help very much! :-) :-)

Rules are as follows below[/alert]

[alert type=”warning”]* Note:

  • that it is the sound that is important, not the letter or spelling. For example, “fax” ends in the letter “x” but the sound /s/; “like” ends in the letter “e” but the sound /k/.


1.) If the word ends in an unvoiced consonant sound: /f/, /k/, /p/, /t/, /θ/-(thin), pronounce "s" as /s/.

 Example Word class  Phonetic
 Develops V /dɪˈveləpS/
 Meets V /miːtS/
 Books N /bʊkS/
 Laughs V /læfS/
 Months N /mʌnθS/

2.) When it ends in a voiced consonant sound, /b/, /d/, /g/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /ng/, /r/ or with a vowel sound, /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/, pronounce "s" as /z/.

 Example Word class  Phonetic
 Pubs N /pʌbZ/
 Birds N /bɜːrdZ/
 Buildings N /ˈbɪldɪŋZ/
 Lives (Verb) V /lɪvZ/
 Breathes V /briːðZ/
 Rooms N /ruːmZ/
 Means V /miːnZ/
 Things N /θɪŋZ/
 Fills V /fɪlZ/

3.) If it ends with /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /tʃ/-chair, /dʒ/-the second "g" in garage, /dz/-(j), pronounce "s" or "-es" as /IZ/.

 Example Word class  Phonetic
 Kisses V/ N /'kɪsIZ/
 Dances V /'dænsIZ/
 Boxes N /'bɑːksIZ/
 Roses N /'roʊzIZ/
 Dishes N /'dɪʃIZ/
 Rouge V /'ruːʒIZ/
 Watches V /'wɑːtʃIZ/
 Changes V /'tʃeɪndʒIZ/

In other words, if the word ends with a sound other than the 5 unvoiced consonants, pronounce "s" with a /z/ (or with an /IZ/ as the case may be).

-s endings

[alert type=”warning”]


The final letter is not important, it is the final sound which affects the ‘s’ ending.


Check out some other key Sounds in English

How to pronounce the ‘th’ sound
How to pronounce the ‘ed’ ending

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