Dear all,
I have three questions regards to pronunciation of "worry" and "plural s"
First, should the word "worry" be pronounced as "were-re" or "were-E"? Which one is more common and natual to native speakers?
Second, where do natives put their tongues at the end of s such as bus / buses / flowers /cups ? Where the position of the tip of tongue should be when (s) / (z) / (es) is pronounced?
Third, words like "flowers, melons, chairs, has, he's, etc.," should be pronounced as (z) in the end of the word according to the ESL books. But many of the CDs or tapes sound more like (s) rather than (z). This happens often when the speed of recording is in normal talking speed. So, is it just me or people tend to like pronounce (s) better than (z) even though it should be (z) instead. In that case, what should I teach my students to say ? "watermelons" or "watermelon-z" They don't sound that much (z) but more like (s). I am a little lost here.
As for " ists" "scientists", " ds" "friends", " ths" "months and mouths",
they are all not very easy for ESL studetns to say. Does anyone have any tips to help ?
Thank you for all your help.
1 2
should the word "worry" be pronounced as "were-re" or "were-E"?

Pronounce it however is most comfortable. Few could tell the difference.
Second, where do natives put their tongues at the end of s such as bus / buses / flowers /cups ? Where the position of the tip of tongue should be when (s) / (z) / (es) is pronounced?

Touch the tip of your tongue to the spot where your gums meet the back of your upper front teeth.
Third, words like "flowers, melons, chairs, has, he's, etc.," should be pronounced as (z) in the end of the word according to the ESL books. But many of the CDs or tapes sound more like (s)

It's voiced, like a "z". There are some regional dialects (such as that of Chicago, Illinois) that use the unvoiced, like an "s", but standard English voices it in most cases. The only case of which I know where you would end it with unvoiced is where the word ends with "sts", such as "scientists".
As for " ists" "scientists", " ds" "friends", " ths" "months and mouths", they are all not very easy for ESL studetns to say.

"Tongue twisters" are excellent, and fun. Try this one:

Amidst the mists and coldest frosts
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts
He thrusts his fists against the posts
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
Go slowly and deliberately, forming your lips and tongue into the proper shapes with tension in the muscles.
More:
http://www.randyshomestead.com/jokebook/tongue twisters.htm

Michael DeBusk, Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place Did he update http://home.earthlink.net/~debu4335 / yet?
(snip)
Third, words like "flowers, melons, chairs, has, he's, etc.," should ... many of the CDs or tapes sound more like (s)

It's voiced, like a "z". There are some regional dialects (such as that of Chicago, Illinois) that use the unvoiced, ... which I know where you would end it with unvoiced is where the word ends with "sts", such as "scientists".

The final S is unvoiced wherever an unvoiced consonant not just a T (or "st") precedes it, as in "wits", "whisks", "winks", "whips", "wisps", "whiffs", &c.

Odysseus
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
"Casey" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
Dear all, I have three questions regards to pronunciation of "worry" and "plural s" First, should the word "worry" be ... more common and natual to native speakers?

The important thing is to put the stress on the first syllable.
Second, where do natives put their tongues at the end of s such as bus / buses / flowers /cups ? Where the position of the tip of tongue should be when (s) / (z) / (es) is pronounced?

Normally, the part of the toungue just* behind the tip is placed against the roof of the mouth *just behind the teeth. But it sometimes depends partly on what comes after the sound. There are probably variations according to dialect, and some people have speech impediments for example, some people put the tip of the tongue against the top row of teeth, and the result is a "th" sound. Unless you're an actor (or a spy) trying to perfect an English accent, you don't need to get it exactly right.
Third, words like "flowers, melons, chairs, has, he's, etc.," should be pronounced as (z) in the end of the word ... ? "watermelons" or "watermelon-z" They don't sound that much (z) but more like (s). I am a little lost here.[/nq]A lot depends on what follows the (s) or (z). I don't know what your native language is, but English is like French and unlike German in that words are not pronounced separately. The phrase "an apple and an orange" would sound almost the same if it were written: "a naplan da norange". What you're probably hearing is the result of native speakers running their words together in this fashion: perhaps a voiceless consonant follows, so the usual (z) sound is also de-voiced and turns into (s).

It also depends on which dialect the speakers were using, but it's very widespread. Native speakers, though, are usually unaware that they speak this way. In the sentence "Melons taste good", for example, many perhaps most native speakers would have real trouble pronouncing the (z) sound in "melons" while making the sentence sound fluent.
As for " ists" "scientists", " ds" "friends", " ths" "months and mouths", they are all not very easy for ESL studetns to say. Does anyone have any tips to help ?

Again, it depends on what your native language is. Germans, for example, have no problem with "scientists", but are almost all incapable of saying "clothes".
The cluster "-ds" is usually voiced (dz). The (d) is very light, you can hardly hear it: you can usually be understood if you just say the (z). Start with the tongue in the right position for (d), but move it back to the (z) position. As you do so, allow air to pass over the tongue. You should get a very gentle (d) sound followed by a normal (z) sound.

As for "-ths", it's almost impossible if you pronounce the "th". Start with the tongue in the "th" position between the teeth, or against the upper teeth. Then pull the tongue back to the (s) position and at the same time say (s) or (z). The "th" is very soft it sounds a bit like a soft (t) or (d), actually a "dental" consontant (because it's pronounced with the tongue against the teeth).
I don't think you need to bother too much about being exact. As long as people know what you're trying to say, that's the main thing.
Dear all, I have three questions regards to pronunciation of "worry" and "plural s" First, should the word "worry" be ... more common and natual to native speakers?

The word is two syllables, with the r a bridge between the two. The two syllables are not separated by a pause, so the r sound could be assigned to both, actually. Received Pronunciation (British) would put a flap there; American would have the first vowel sliding into the retroflex r, which then slides into the second vowel. The first vowel is the undifferentiated vowel that English uses so much, just enough vowel to get from w to r. The second vowel is what I (American) was taught to call "long e," the vowel that is represented in IPA, and spelled in Spanish and French, i. The first syllable carries the accent.
Second, where do natives put their tongues at the end of s such as bus / buses / flowers /cups ? Where the position of the tip of tongue should be when (s) / (z) / (es) is pronounced?

For s, the tongue goes wherever it is out of the way. S is pronounced with the teeth, incisors meeting. Well, usually, but not, I think, officially. The official explanation of this sound ignores the teeth, and claims that it is produced by the position of the tongue which is: middle of the tongue up against the roof of the mouth, near the ridge, with the tip curved down to right behind the lower incisors.
Third, words like "flowers, melons, chairs, has, he's, etc.," should be pronounced as (z) in the end of the word ... ? "watermelons" or "watermelon-z" They don't sound that much (z) but more like (s). I am a little lost here.

The plural s is unvoiced when the sound right before it is unvoiced months, tapes, cats, cooks. The plural s is voiced when the sound right before it is voiced, either a voiced consonant flowers, melons, he's, friends, dogs or a vowel cookies, princes.
As for " ists" "scientists", " ds" "friends", " ths" "months and mouths", they are all not very easy for ESL studetns to say. Does anyone have any tips to help ?

English speakers have trouble with sounds common to other languages, too. For example, I have never heard an American pronounce Yeltsin correctly; it is Yel-tsin, but Americans say Yelt-sin. We can make that sound following a vowel, but not at the beginning of a syllable! For example, Arabic has a bunch of fricatives that English-speakers can't even hear the difference between. Using one of them instead of another can make native speakers of Arabic laugh. For example, Indo-European languages from India have contrasting sounds that sound exactly alike to native English speakers.
The most closely related major language, German, does not have several sounds that English does: th and ch, for example. French doesn't either. Speakers of those two adopt different substitutes, and we figure out what they mean. (They pronounce r quite differently, too.)

Have your students do the best they can, and we'll figure it out.
Thank you for all your help.

Cece
Dear all, I have three questions regards to pronunciation of ... American English and British English might be different, right? >

The word is two syllables, with the r a bridge between the two. The two syllables are not separated by ... the vowel that is represented in IPA, and spelled in Spanish and French, i. The first syllable carries the accent.

The -y in "worry" is often pronounced as /I/ in BrE, more or less as in "bit". The /i/ version, or "ee", is by some thought substandard; they would also use the /I/ vowel in the -day of "Monday" and the other day-names. I hear from old-fashioned upper-class speakers an /E/ (as in "bet"), or something very like it, in that and many other -y endings.

Alan Jones
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The final S is unvoiced wherever an unvoiced consonant not just a T (or "st") precedes it, as in "wits", "whisks", "winks", "whips", "wisps", "whiffs", &c.

Ah... so it is. Thank you.

Michael DeBusk, Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place Did he update http://home.earthlink.net/~debu4335 / yet?
"Cece" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
For s, the tongue goes wherever it is out of the way. S is pronounced with the teeth, incisors meeting. Well, usually, but not, I think, officially.

Hmm. I've never pronounced /s/ the way you describe. I can't get the sound at all, in fact, unless I place my tongue, well, exactly where you describe below.
The official explanation of this sound ignores the teeth, and claims that it is produced by the position of the ... Speakers of those two adopt different substitutes, and we figure out what they mean. (They pronounce r quite differently, too.)

Actually, both French and German have the second sound, represented in ASCII IPA as /tS/; it is spelled "tch" in French and "tsch" in German. It is uncommon, but I believe not unheard of, in French, but in German it is extremely common (and a pain to write). "Tschüss" is an informal way of saying "goodbye", a "Patsche" is a mess or a difficult situation, and of course where would our history books be without the word "Putsch"?
Actually, both French and German have the second sound, represented in ASCII IPA as /tS/; it is spelled "tch" in ... is a mess or a difficult situation, and of course where would our history books be without the word "Putsch"?

Quatsch.

Ray
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