The consonant sound /z/ is most often linked with the consonant letter Z, because the correlation between the sound and that letter is very reputable. However, there are a few other letters (and combinations of letters) that have the right to also bring about the /z/ sound. First, let’s go over the letter Z, and then we’ll look at various other letters that can form this sound.

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The letter Z (pronounced “zee,” IPA: /zi/, in Amerihave the right to English and “zed,” IPA: /zɛd/, in British English) almost always produces the very same consonant sound, transcribed in IPA as /z/. It is formed the exact same way as the sound /s/—by forcing air between the tongue and also the roof of the mouth and out previous the teeth—other than that the vocal cords are vibrated to develop sound, making /z/ a voiced speech sound.
amazing (/əˈmeɪzɪŋ/)Amazon (/ˈæməˌzɑn/)bizarre (/bəˈzɑr/)breeze (/briz/)brazen (/ˈbreɪzən/)citizen (/ˈsɪtəzən/)emblazon (/ɛmˈbleɪzən/)freezing (/frizɪŋ/)size (/saɪz/)
blizzard (/ˈblɪzərd/)dazzle (/ˈdæzəl/)fuzzy (/ˈfʌzi/)muzzle (/ˈmʌzəl/)nozzle (/ˈnɑzəl/)tizzy (/ˈtɪzi/)
In a few Italian loan words, ZZ has actually the same pronunciation as the consonant cluster TZ, /ts/ (as in pretzel, quartz, waltz, and so on.). For example:
Z deserve to show up at the start or finish of a word, yet this is a lot much less prevalent. If it does end the word, it is generally (however not always) doubled. For instance:
zig (/zɪg/)zag (/zæg/)zeal (/zil/)zucchini (/zuˈkini/)buzz (/bʌz/)fizz (/fɪz/)jazz (/jæz/)topaz (/ˈtoʊˌpæz/)
Z deserve to also show up after the letter T at the end of some words, yet its pronunciation changes (which we’ll look at a small later).
Perhaps the a lot of widespread usage of Z is in the sufsettle “-ize” (which suggests a verb created from a noun or adjective) and its derivative “-ization” (which shows a noun developed from such a verb).* For example:
In British English, these suffixes are more commonly spelled “-ise” and “-isation,” through the same pronunciation. Tright here are a couple of words that are spelled this way in Amerideserve to English, though, which we’ll look at even more on.
S only produces the /z/ sound once it appears in the middle or at the end of certain words. We’ll briefly go over examples of these here, yet tright here is more information in the section on Pronouncing the Letter S.
When S appears in the middle of a word, it have the right to sometimes create the /z/ sound if it comes in between two vowels. For example:
acquisition (/ˌækwəˈzɪʃən/) busy (/ˈbɪzi/)cousin (/ˈkʌzən/) desert (n. /ˈdɛzərt/) easy (/ˈizi/)incisor (/ɪnˈsaɪzər/) liaison (/liˈeɪzən/)music (/ˈmjuzɪk/)poison (/ˈpɔɪzən/)present (adj. /ˈprɛzənt/)president (/ˈprɛzɪdənt/)prison (/ˈprɪzən/)reason (/ˈrizən/)visit (/ˈvɪzɪt/)
We use the sufdeal with “-s” to produce plurals of nouns and to inflect verbs for third-person singular topics, and we usage “-’s” to indicate possession for the majority of nouns. When either of these endings comes after the consonant sounds /f/, /k/, /p/, /t/, and also /θ/, they will create the /s/ sound; after any other consonant or vowel sounds, “-s” or “-’s” (or “-es”) is pronounced /-z/.
Note that some nouns ending in “-f” or “-fe” adjust their spelling to “-ves” once ending up being plural, and the pronunciation of the S changes accordingly:
half (/hæf/)→halves (/hævz/)knife (/naɪf/)→knives (/naɪvz/)life (/laɪf/)→lives (/laɪvz/)loaf (/loʊf/)→loaves (/loʊvz/)shelf (/ʃɛlf/)→shelves (/ʃɛlvz/)thief (/θif/)→thieves (/θivz/)
The pluralization of a number of nouns ending in “-th” produces a comparable effect. While the spelling doesn’t adjust at all, the pronunciation changes from /θ/ to /ðz/. For example:
booth (/buθ/)→booths (/buðz/)mouth (/maʊθ/)→mouths (/maʊðz/)oath (/oʊθ/)→oaths (/oʊðz/)path (/pæθ/)→paths (/pæðz/)truth (/truθ/)→truths (/truðz/)wreath (/riθ/)→wreaths (/riðz/)
One instance in which S is constantly pronounced /z/ is when the letter combicountry SM appears at the finish of a word (the majority of regularly as a component of the sufsolve “-ism”), in which case a reduced vowel sound (the schwa, /ə/) is pronounced between S and M. For example:
activism (/ˈæktɪˌvɪzəm/)baptism (/ˈbæptɪzəm/)chasm (/ˈkæzəm/)humanism (/ˈhjuməˌnɪzəm/)materialism (/məˈtɪriəˌlɪzəm/)nationalism (/ˈnæʃənəˌlɪzəm/)organism (/ˈɔrgəˌnɪzəm/)phantasm (/ˌfænˈtæzəm/)sarcasm (/ˈsɑrˌkæzəm/)spiritualism (/ˈspɪrɪʧəwəlɪzəm/)
appease (/əˈpiz/) browse (/braʊz/)bruise (/bruz/)cause (/kɔz/)cheese (/ʧiz/)choose (/ʧuz/)these (/ðiz/)espouse (/ɪˈspaʊz/)phase (/feɪz/)praise (/preɪz/)rose (/roʊz/)wise (/waɪz/)
Unfortunately, this is not a really trusted convention. In reality, a number of pairs of words have actually the specific exact same vowel + “-se” spelling, however have various pronunciations. For instance:
There are additionally a few pairs of words that have the very same spelling, but whose pronunciation alters depending on meaning. For example:
One specific finishing that will certainly reliably develop the /z/ sound is the sufresolve “-ise” as soon as it is used to form verbs. In American English, these are a lot more generally stood for by “-ize” rather, however there are a couple of words that have to be spelled “-ise.” This is because, rather than attaching to an existing base word to create a verb, this ending is part of the word’s etymological origin. For example:
advertise (/ˈædvərˌtaɪz/)advise (/ædˈvaɪz/)chastise (/tʃæsˈtaɪz/)compromise (/ˈkɑmprəˌmaɪz/) despise (/dɪˈspaɪz/)devise (/dɪˈvaɪz/)disguise (/dɪsˈgaɪz/)excise (/ɪkˈsaɪz/)exercise (/ˈɛksərˌsaɪz/) improvise (/ˈɪmprəˌvaɪz/) incise (/ɪnˈsaɪz/)revise (/rɪˈvaɪz/)supervise (/ˈsupərˌvaɪz/) surmise (/sərˈmaɪz/)surprise (/sərˈpraɪz/)televise (/ˈtɛləˌvaɪz/)
While the consonant digraph SS a lot of often forms the /s/ sound, it have the right to occasionally create the /z/ sound in certain words in which it shows up between 2 vowels. There are only a couple of words in which this is the case:
brassiere (/brəˈz/ɪər/) dessert (/dɪˈz/ɜrt/)dissolve (/dɪˈz/ɑlv/)Missouri (/məˈz/ʊri/)possess (/pəˈz/ɛs/; note that the second ss is pronounced /s/)scissors (/ˈsɪz/ərz/)
For all other words, SS in between vowels will certainly make the /s/ sound (as in assess, /əˈsɛs/) or the /ʃ/ sound (as in session, /ˈsɛʃən/).
The letter X most regularly creates a blend of 2 unvoiced consonant sounds: /k/ and /s/. However before, when it appears automatically before a stressed vowel sound (and virtually always after the letter E) at the start of a word, it becomes voiced as the combicountry of the sounds /g/ and also /z/. For instance:
Alexander (/ˌælɪgˈzændər/)example (/ɪgˈzæmpəl/)exact (/ɪgˈzækt/)exaggeprice (/ɪgˈzædʒ əˌreɪt) executive (/ɪgˈzɛkjətɪv/)exist (/ɪgˈzɪst/)exude (/ɪgˈzud/)exotic (/ɪgˈzɑtɪk/)exhaust (/ɪgˈzɑst/)exhibit (/ɪgˈzɪbɪt/)
Tright here is additionally one more word in which x has this pronunciation but does not come after an E: auxiliary (/ɔgˈzɪləri/).

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Finally, there are likewise a few words in which x only develops the /z/ sound, though the majority of of these are not widespread in everyday speech and also creating. For example:
Quiz

1. In which of the complying with words is ZZ not pronounced /z/?

a) fuzzyb) blizzardc) pizzad) fizzle

2. When is S pronounced /z/ when it is used to develop plurals, possessives, and the third-perkid singular?

a) After all consonant soundsb) After the consonant sound /t/c) After the consonant sound /f/d) After the consonant sound /m/

3. In which of the adhering to word endings is S constantly pronounced /z/?

a) -iseb) -ismc) -ased) -ss

4. In which of the following words does X produce the /z/ sound?

a) exceptionb) exertc) exercised) exhale
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