The z Sound (/z/ Phoneme)

Hi there this is the z sound. As in the words:

  • as /æz/
  • his /hɪz/
  • always /‘ɔːlwəz/

The z sound from the ‘Consonants Pairs’ group and it is called the ‘Voiced alveolar sibilant’. This means that you create friction through clenched teeth by directing air flow with the tip of the tongue.

How to pronounce the z sound

The z sound is made through the mouth and it is Voiced which means that you vibrate your vocal chords to make the sound.

It is defined by shape of your teeth and the position of your tongue and it is a Sibilant, which is a sound made by directing a stream of air with the tongue towards the sharp edge of the teeth, In this case .

To produce the sound Clench your teeth together lightly and put your tongue just behind them restricting airflow to a narrow channel over the tongue and through the teeth. Then push air though the channel and through the teeth, whilst voicing out.

How the z sound is Spelled

The /z/ phoneme is normally spelled with the letter ‘z’ as in the words:

  • citizen /ˈsɪtəzən/

but can also be spelled with the letters ‘se’ or ‘x’ as in the words:

  • these /ðiːz/
  • because /bɪ’kɒz/
  • exactly /ɪgˈzæktli/

Examples of the z sound

Here are a couple of words that begin with the /z/ phoneme:

  • zone /zəʊn/
  • zoo /zu:/

To be honest there are not many more that are used very often.

Here are some words with the/z/ phoneme in the middle:

  • business /ˈbɪznəs/
  • president /ˈprezədənt/
  • result /rɪˈzʌlt/
  • reason /ˈriːzən/

Here are some words with the/z/ phoneme at the end:

  • use /juːz/
  • those /ðəʊz/
  • size /saɪz/
  • lose /luːz/

So, that’s it for the z sound.

2 Responses to “The z Sound (/z/ Phoneme)”

  1. Abu Taher October 22, 2015 at 3:00 am #

    Excellent videos.

  2. Hugo July 16, 2017 at 3:25 am #

    Thank you very much. This helps me a lot.

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