Say /ks/ for x in the words taxed, experienced, extra.
Say /gz/ for x in the words example, exactly, executive.
Say /kst/ in the words text, next, mixed, fixed, flexed, faxed, taxed, context.
|Speech Modification American Accent Training|
The letter x has 3 different pronunciations in American English. The most common pronunciation for letter x is /ks/. Pronounce /ks/ when the x is at the end of the word, such as in fax and tax. Also pronounce /ks/ when the x is after a stressed vowel, such as in the words extra /ˈɛkstrə/ and mixed /ˈmɪkst/.
When the x is before the stressed vowel, we pronounce it as a voiced sound /gz/. For example, pronounce /gz/ in the words example /ɪgˈzæmpəl/ and exactly /ɪgˈzæktli/.
Least common are words which begin with letter x, such as xenophobe or xylophone. In these words, pronounce /z/ for the letter x. Note, some foreign loan words in English have a different pronunciation of the letter x. For example, the French loan word faux is pronounced with a silent x (/foʊ/).
We sometimes add a letter t after an x, as in the words text and next. We also add -ed to verbs ending in x for the past tense. Words ending in -xt and -xed are pronounced /kst/.
For more extensive word lists and recordings, try our online courses.
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