These sounds are both alveolar, fricative consonants. However, /z/ is a voiced consonant and /s/ is a voiceless consonant. If you are pronouncing /z/, your vocal cords should vibrate. At the end of a word, the vowel before /z/ will be longer than the vowel before /s/.
You can hear the difference between /z/ and /s/ in these words.
1. A. zeal, B. seal 2. A. lies, B. lice 3. A. falls, B. false 4. A. scares, B. scarce 5. A. raising, B. racing 6. A. disease, B. decease
These are both voiced alveolar consonants. However, /z/ is a fricative and /dʒ/ is an affricate. If you are pronouncing /dʒ/, the air in your mouth should stop before it is released (creating a “harder” sound).
You can hear the difference between /z/ and /dʒ/ in these words.
1. A. zest, B. jest 2. A. raise, B. rage 3. A. buzz, B. budge 4. A. zoos, B. juice 5. A. ways, B. wage 6. A. chains, B. change
Listen and repeat these words:
1. zone 2. zoom 3. zipper 4. zombie 5. please 6. as 7. tries 8. jobs 9. begs 10. bores
11. bronze 12. crazy 13. easy 14. resume 15. reason 16. music 17. because 18. criticize 19. amazing 20. hazardous
Now, practice /z/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
1. size - shoes - does What size of shoes does he wear? 2. kids - visit - zoo The kids want to visit the zoo. 3. composer - pieces - music That composer wrote many famous pieces of music. 4. friend's - pleasant - surprise My friend's arrival was a pleasant surprise. 5. checkers - always - lose If I play checkers with my sister, I always lose. 6. viruses - cause - diseases Viruses can cause different diseases.
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