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  1. #1
    ngkhacphuocc Guest

    /s/ or /z/ ?

    Dear teachers,
    I find it difficult to recognize the pronounciation of the ending SE in PLEASE and INCREASE because SE in PLEASE is pronounced as /z/ but SE in INCREASE is pronouned as /s/. Is there any rule or experience to recognize the sounds?
    I'm looking forward to your answer.
    Your sincerely,
    Phuoc
    from Viet Nam

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: /s/ or /z/ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngkhacphuocc View Post
    Dear teachers,
    I find it difficult to recognize the pronounciation of the ending SE in PLEASE and INCREASE because SE in PLEASE is pronounced as /z/ but SE in INCREASE is pronouned as /s/. Is there any rule or experience to recognize the sounds?
    I'm looking forward to your answer.
    Your sincerely,
    Phuoc
    from Viet Nam
    1. Words with /z/: ease, tease, please (These are the only three words in my rhyming dictionary spelled '-ease' and pronounced '-eaze'. Of course, it also applies to derivatives, like 'disease', 'displease'.

    2. When you get to words like pancrease (an enzyme), it's /paenkri:eIz/ - ending as in lactase.

    3. However, I think the majority of words use /s/ and the above are exceptions.
    /s/ - increase, decrease, lease, cease, decease, crease, grease ...
    So, if you're stuck in mid-conversation, and you don't know the pronunciation, I'd suggest using /s/.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: /s/ or /z/ ?

    ... when the preceding vowel is /i:/. But 'choose', and 'lose' (both with the /u:/ sound, 'arose', 'close' (the verb) 'rose' and 'those'... (with the /ǝʊ/ sound), 'revise', incise' 'rise' and 'wise' (with the /aɪ/ sound), and probably many others - such as 'pancrease', as you said, and 'phase', 'liaise' (while we're considering words with the diphthong /eɪ/), are all followed by /z/. I'm afraid that ngkhacphuocc (like any other language learner) has to learn the IPA and learn to use a dictionary.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 15-May-2010 at 12:02. Reason: Added 'rose' etc.

  4. #4
    bds51 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: /s/ or /z/ ?

    Hello Guest,
    This is a question for the pronunciation forum. Bobk's suggestions are the closest to the truth and a dictionary is your best bet because there are 7 rules for pronouncing 's' and at least 4 rules for pronouncing 'z' and they all have exceptions and about 4 rules also have 'either' which means besides the exceptions, there are alternate pronunciations where the 's' in the word can be pronounced either 's' or 'z'.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: /s/ or /z/ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ... when the preceding vowel is /i:/.
    b
    That was the question, specifically "-ease".
    Certainly, how to pronounce all /s/ in English is a much more complicated question, and one that, had it been asked, would require much more explication.

  6. #6
    bds51 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: /s/ or /z/ ?

    Hello Raymott
    The most reliable rule relating to 'ease' would be most endings in 'ase' are pronounced 's' . There are a few exceptions and a few alternate pronunciations. The second most reliable rule relating to 'ease' would be that ‘S’ between vowels or in the endings ‘-aise’, ‘-eas‘, -ease’, ‘-ese’, ‘-euse’, ‘-ose,’ ‘ous,’ and ‘-use’ is often pronounced 'z' with a few more exceptions and alternate pronunciations than the 'ase' rule. The 3rd rule you might consider is that 's' between vowels is often pronounced 'z' with even more exceptions and alternate pronunciations.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: /s/ or /z/ ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    That was the question, specifically "-ease".
    Certainly, how to pronounce all /s/ in English is a much more complicated question, and one that, had it been asked, would require much more explication.
    Sorry, missed that - a bit hectic at the moment!

    b

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