I'm practicing my american pronunciation with a training software,I got the ts sound by itself,and have no problem making this ts sound. I listened to the demo 100 times but still can't tell the difference between "pant" and "pants" ,they sound so so close to my ears. Also,"last" and "lasts","pet" and "pets"
I can tell you the "s" in other words in plural form,like "books","birds","computers" are all easily be distinguished by my ears.
I see. It appears the difficulty you're having has to do with place of articulation. Both [t] and [s] are pronounced in the alveolar-dental region, which is the soft bulbous area behind your upper front teeth. To get a better handle on [ts], try pronouncing [t] and [s] separately. First [at], and stretch out the aspiration, or air that follows, and then [as], and let it flow through for a long time. Allow your ears to hear the difference betwen [at] and [as], as you say the two syllables slowly one after the other. Then, when you feel confident that there's a difference between [at] and [as], change the sequence to [at] + [s], then [et] + [s], [ot] + [s], and so on. Once you've done that, start bringing the sounds closer together, until you have [ats], [ets], [ots], and so on.Originally Posted by amigo