English Pronunciation Lesson: /s/ vs. /ʃ/ (s vs sh)

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

1) The basic sounds:

  • It’s a ssssssssssnake!
  • When you talk in the library, the librarian will say, “Shhhhhhhhhh”

2) Look at the diagrams (click to enlarge)

  • For the [ /s/   (ess) ] sound, your tongue should be just behind the point where your top teeth meet the roof of your mouth.
  • For the [/ʃ/  (sh)] sound, your tongue should point up towards the roof of your mouth



3) Look at these pairs of words:

  • see – she
  • sue – shoe
  • save – shave
  • sit – shit

4) Sentence practice #1

                     [ /s/   (ess) ]                                                       

  • I see seven swans.
  • Sue said Sam was sick.
  • Steve saves stamps and coins.
  • Can I sit here? Can someone sit here?

                   [ /ʃ/  (sh) ]

  •  She should shake it.
  •  We shop for shoes and shirts
  •  Should Tosh shave his mustache?
  •  Shelly should clean the shed.

5) Sentence practice #2

  1. Sue shops for Sam’s shoes.
  2. Steve should see the shimmering scene.
  3. Steve shall sell his stamps to buy shoes.
  4. She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

Remember, the key to pronunciation is listening, so listen to the video here and listen to English every day!

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