American /s/ vs. British /z/

In this video blog post, we discuss a small, subtle difference between how some words with “s” are pronounced between American and British English. This tip may be most useful if you are trying to learn an American accent, but are coming from a starting point of being more familiar with British English.

There are countless pronunciation differences, big and small, between British English and American English. For further examples of this, please refer to these previous blog posts:

  1. British Versus American “A”
  2. News About American “oo” and British “you” That You Never Knew
  3. The “oo” Sound: American Versus British Pronunciation  
  4. Words Pronounced Differently in British vs. American English

Generally, most words that contain the /s/ or /z/ sound are pronounced with that same /s/ or /z/ sound in both American and British English. However, there are a number of words in which the written letter “s” is pronounced as the sound /s/ in American English, but the sound /z/ in some dialects of British English.

Common words with /s/ sound in American English vs. /z/ sound in British English:



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