Consonant clusters are groups of 2 or more consonants together at the end of the word. The typical error patterns tend to be devoicing (saying a voiceless sound/s rather than the voiced consonant) and omission (leaving one or more sound off). Correcting these errors is important because consonant clusters contain important grammatical information.
As you look at the words above, notice that many have the combinations -nth /nθ/ and -tieth /tijəθ/. You might find it helpful to practice these ending sounds on their own, then add them to the ordinal numbers. The recordings below are the /nθ/ and /tijəθ/ endings.
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/).
Below are a list of words you might commonly use which contain the letter x, sorted by their pronunciation (voiceless /ks/ and voiced /gz/). Also included are consonant clusters with xt. These are pronounced /kst/.
Present tense verbs in the third person (used with he, she and it) generally end with the letters s or es. These are pronounced as voiceless /s/, voiced /z/ or an additional syllable /ɪz/ depending on the context.
Verbs ending in voiceless sounds p, t, k, f. For these verbs, pronounce /s/.
Verbs ending in voiced sounds (b, d, g, v, r, w, m, n ng. l, vowels). For these verbs, pronounce/z/.
Verbs ending in s, z, sh, ch or j. Add -es, and pronounce an extra syllable -ez /əz/ or /ɪz/.
When we add s to make a plural, the voicing of the s (whether it says "s" or "z") depends on the voicing of the word. If the word ends with a voiceless sound (p, t, k, f), the s will be voiceless /s/. If the word ends with a voiced sound (b, d, g, v, r, w, m, n ng. l, vowels), the s will be voiced /z/. When the word ends with an s, z, sh, ch or j sound, we add the letters -es and pronounce an extra syllable "-ez"/əz/. Below you will find plurals for the most common nouns, sorted by voiced and voiceless sounds.
Words ending in voiceless sounds p, t, k, f. For these plurals, pronounce /s/.
Words ending in voiced sounds (b, d, g, v, r, w, m, n ng. l, vowels). For these plurals, pronounce/z/.
Words ending in s, z, sh, ch or j. Add -es, and pronounce an extra syllable -ez /əz/.
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