How to Pronounce S [s] vs. SH [ʃ] – American English


For some people, S and SH sound the same. The position for these two sounds is quite different — learn the difference in tongue and lip position, and practice with minimal pairs. Get Rachel’s Book: SUBSCRIBE!: Fan!

See the transcript for this video:

Improve your American Accent / spoken English at Rachel’s English with video-based lessons and exercises.

Cải thiện nói tiếng Anh Mỹ / 미국 영어 발음 향상 / アメリカ英語の話し言葉のアクセントを向上させる / Улучши разговорный американский английский / Meningkatkan berbicara bahasa Inggris Amerika / Melhore sua pronúncia do inglês americano / Mejora tu pronunciación en Inglés Americano / 美語 / बात अमेरिकी अंग्रेजी में सुधार / تحسين لهجتك الأمريكية الإنجليزية / שפר את המבטא האמריקאי שלך

…with Rachel’s English!



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  1. I need help to understand the difference between words like risk v/s risks. Please tell how to pronounce it

  2. How come famous people like Sean Connery or Barry Gibbs pronounce words with SH instead of S now? They didn't before. Look at this video and compare Sean Connery from 1983 vs 2009. The difference is huge.

  3. I have a student that has a nasal /s/ and /z/…. I am trying to figure out how to teach him because nothing seems to be working.

  4. this is helping me a lot. i learn english as a second language and try to improve it by my little projects but im still having lots of troubles to "stop being a snake"

  5. Im a 17 yr old boy with dyslexia and i have problems with my speech, im very self conscious about it. So hopefully this helps

  6. It seems there is some kind of hype with various people pronouncing "SH" instead of "S". Lately, I have heard american actors and presentators saying words like "SHtrong", "SHtrenght", "SHtraight", and so many more. English is not my first language, and maybe I'm out of bound saying this, but I find it pretty annoying and I think it sounds cheap when they speak like that. Maybe they listened too much of the "shtroumpf".

  7. English is my first language and I've always had problems with this. So don't feel bad if you also had/have problems with this aswell.

  8. Thank you Rachel for this video.

    I am good at pronounce these two sounds but recently I have found it so difficult to pronounce “flash sale”.

    The phrase has two words, the first ends with “sh” and the other starts with “s”. I cannot pronounce it fastly because of a little break between these ones. I usually drop off the “sh” and it sounds like “flasale”.

    I am confused how to pronounce correctly. Do you give any advices?

    Many thanks.


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