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                        AMERICAN ENGLISH SPEECH

                                    ENDING SOUNDS

                                               

PLURAL ENDINGS

 

Non-native speakers frequently have difficulty mastering American English plural nouns.  Some languages do not have plural forms of nouns.  Other languages have plural nouns, but they do not involve adding consonant sounds at the end of the words. 

 

So, one key problem non-native speakers have is to learn to pronounce the ending sound of plural words.

 

Common problems: Not pronouncing the ending sound, so "cars" sounds like "car." Using an S instead of a Z, so "cars" sounds like "carS."  Using an extra syllable when a sound is enough, so "books" sound like "book-is."

 

coats                                      winter hats and coats                  

dates                                      the dates of those trips    

doors                                     opened doors and windows      

programs                              several bugs in the programs    

faxes                                      sent faxes to offices                     

lunches                                 lunches at conferences   

 

Some passengers on the flights carried bags and suitcases.      

All kinds of data are on the charts, tables, and graphs.      

 

Rules of pronunciation for regular plurals:

1.      Use the S sound to pronounce the plural when a word ends in one of these (unvoiced) sounds: P, F, K, T, TH.  Examples:  rope--ropes(S), wreck--wrecks(S), bat--bat(S)

2.      Use the Z sound to pronounce the plural when a word ends in one of these (voiced) sounds:  B, M, N, L, D, NG, G, R, V, THH and all vowel sounds.  Examples: tub--tubs(Z), rim--rims(Z), can--cans(Z)

3.      Use the syllable IZ sound to pronounce the plural of a word that ends with one of these sounds: S, Z, SH, ZH, CH, J.  Examples:  bus--buses(IZ), wish--wishes(IZ), watch--watches(IZ)