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'p' is pronounced /b/ in 'expect', but /p/ in 'expose', are there any rules for the letter p after /s/ sound in the middle of the word? and the same question for st and sk. Thanks.
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I don't pronounce p as /b/ in expect. I can't even do it if I try.
I don't know where you heard that. Maybe they were talking about aspiration or something like that? I believe I pronounce both of those / p / 's as [ p ] .
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Hi, this is interesting, it reminds me of something I read in a book for improving pronunciation (the famous "American Accent Training"). The title of the paragraph is "Spoon or Sboon?"

She (the author) say: "Say spoon. Now say sboon. Hear how they sound the same?" This is similar to your p/b problem. Anyway, I disagree, spoon and sboon sound similar to me, but not the same, and people say spoon, not sboon. She go on saying: "Hear how they sound the same? This is why I'd like you to always convert the preposition to to duh when you are speaking, no matter what comes before it (voiced or unvoiced sound)." I have to disagree again. I don't think to becomes duh after unvoiced consonants. Examples: "Way duh go!" (ok, vowel sound), "I need duh know that" (ok, voiced consonant), "To be or nod duh be" (I don't think so, I think it's simply "To be or not to be"). In the book, however, she explicitly write in the phonetic transcription "T'bee r nah d'bee".

In the end, that paragraph was one the ones I didn't pay too much attention to. But maybe she's right, and I'm just a bad sutdent not willing to listen to teachers Emotion: stick out tongue
English only has voiceless stops after /s/ at the beginning of a syllable.

/st/, /sk/ and /sp/ might sound like /sd/, /sg/ or /sb/ sometimes. After /s/, the voiceless stops /t/, /k/, and /p/ are unaspirated and are phonetically very similar to the voiced stops /d/ /g/ and /b/. But they are definitely the phonemes /t/, /k/ and /p/, however they are actually pronounced.

As a native speaker, I'm not even sure how to say "exbect" and make it sound any different than "expect".

Hope that makes sense.
English only has voiceless stops after /s/ at the beginning of a syllable.

We say that the voiceless-voiced distinction is neutralized after /s/ - there is no contrast between /st/ and /sd/, /sk/ and /sg/, /sp/ and /sb/.

/st/, /sk/ and /sp/ might sound like /sd/, /sg/ or /sb/ sometimes. After /s/, the voiceless stops /t/, /k/, and /p/ are unaspirated and are phonetically very similar to the voiced stops /d/ /g/ and /b/. But they are definitely the phonemes /t/, /k/ and /p/, however they are actually pronounced.

As a native speaker, I'm not even sure how to say "exbect" and make it sound any different than "expect".

Hope that makes sense.
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The 'rules' are the same for medial sp, st, and sk as for initial sp, st, and sk.

For more discussion on this, see pronunciation of spin, stick

CJ