The consonant sound /z/ is many often linked with the consonant letter Z, since the correlation in between the sound and that letter is very reliable. However, there space a few other letters (and combine of letters) that can also result in the /z/ sound. First, let’s go over the letter Z, and then we’ll look at other letters the can form this sound.

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The letter Z (pronounced “zee,” IPA: /zi/, in American English and also “zed,” IPA: /zɛd/, in brother English) virtually always produce the very same consonant sound, transcribed in IPA as /z/. The is developed the same method as the sound /s/—by forcing air between the tongue and also the roof of the mouth and also out past the teeth—except the the vocal cords room vibrated to develop sound, making /z/ a voiced decided 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 couple of Italian loan words, ZZ has the same pronunciation together the consonant cluster TZ, /ts/ (as in pretzel, quartz, waltz, etc.). Because that example:
Z can appear at the beginning or end of a word, however this is much much less common. If it does finish the word, it is generally (but no always) doubled. Because that instance:
zig (/zɪg/)zag (/zæg/)zeal (/zil/)zucchini (/zuˈkini/)buzz (/bʌz/)fizz (/fɪz/)jazz (/jæz/)topaz (/ˈtoʊˌpæz/)
Z can additionally appear ~ the letter T at the end of part words, but its pronunciation changes (which fine look at a small later).
Perhaps the most typical use that Z is in the suffix “-ize” (which suggests a verb created from a noun or adjective) and its derivative “-ization” (which suggests a noun created from together a verb).* because that example:
In brother English, these suffix are much more commonly order “-ise” and “-isation,” through the same pronunciation. There space a few words that are spelled this means in American English, though, which fine look at more on.
S only produces the /z/ sound when it shows up in the center or at the finish of certain words. We’ll briefly go over examples of this here, but there is much more detail in the ar on pronounce the Letter S.
When S shows up in the center of a word, it deserve to sometimes create the /z/ sound if that 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 usage the suffix “-s” to produce plurals the nouns and also to inflect verbs for third-person singular subjects, and also we use “-’s” to show possession for most nouns. As soon as either of these endings come after the consonant sound /f/, /k/, /p/, /t/, and /θ/, lock will produce the /s/ sound; after any kind of other consonant or vowel sounds, “-s” or “-’s” (or “-es”) is pronounce /-z/.
Note that some nouns finishing in “-f” or “-fe” readjust their spelling come “-ves” when ending up being plural, and also the together 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 numerous nouns finishing in “-th” produces a comparable effect. If the order doesn’t change at all, the pronunciation alters from /θ/ come /ðz/. Because that 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 circumstances in i m sorry S is always pronounced /z/ is once the letter combination SM shows up at the end of a native (most often as a component of the suffix “-ism”), in which case a decreased vowel sound (the schwa, /ə/) is pronounced between S and also 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 an extremely reliable convention. In fact, numerous pairs of words have actually the specific same collection + “-se” spelling, but have different pronunciations. For instance:
There are also a few pairs of words that have actually the exact same spelling, yet whose pronunciation alters depending top top meaning. For example:
One particular ending that will certainly reliably produce the /z/ sound is the suffix “-ise” once it is supplied to kind verbs. In American English, these space much more commonly represented by “-ize” instead, yet there room a few words that must be assignment “-ise.” This is because, rather than it is registered to an existing basic word to kind a verb, this finishing is part of the word’s raw 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 many often creates the /s/ sound, it can occasionally form the /z/ sound in specific words in which it appears between 2 vowels. There are only a few 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 2nd ss is pronounce /s/)scissors (/ˈsɪz/ərz/)
For all other words, SS between vowels will certainly make the /s/ sound (as in assess, /əˈsɛs/) or the /ʃ/ sound (as in session, /ˈsɛʃən/).
The letter X many often creates a blend of 2 unvoiced consonant sounds: /k/ and /s/. However, once it appears immediately before a stressed vowel sound (and nearly always after ~ the letter E) in ~ the start of a word, it i do not care voiced together the combination of the sound /g/ and /z/. Because that instance:
Alexander (/ˌælɪgˈzændər/)example (/ɪgˈzæmpəl/)exact (/ɪgˈzækt/)exaggerate (/ɪgˈzædʒ əˌreɪt) executive (/ɪgˈzɛkjətɪv/)exist (/ɪgˈzɪst/)exude (/ɪgˈzud/)exotic (/ɪgˈzɑtɪk/)exhaust (/ɪgˈzɑst/)exhibit (/ɪgˈzɪbɪt/)
There is additionally another native in i m sorry x has actually this pronunciation yet does not come after ~ an E: auxiliary (/ɔgˈzɪləri/).

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Finally, there are likewise a few words in i m sorry x only creates the /z/ sound, though most of these are not typical in daily speech and writing. For example:
Quiz

1. In which of the adhering to words is ZZ not pronounced /z/?

a) fuzzyb) blizzardc) pizzad) fizzle

2. As soon as is S pronounced /z/ as soon as it is used to form plurals, possessives, and also the third-person singular?

a) After every consonant soundsb) after ~ the consonant sound /t/c) after ~ the consonant sound /f/d) ~ the consonant sound /m/

3. In i m sorry of the adhering to word endings is S always pronounced /z/?

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

4. In i beg your pardon of the adhering to words go X create the /z/ sound?

a) exceptionb) exertc) exercised) exhale
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