Sibilant Sounds in English

Sibilant sound  is produced by forcing air out toward your teeth.
Like: hissing sound (sssss),
a buzzing sound (zzzzz) or
(shhhh!) Sound which you make to keep someone quiet.

Sibilant, in phonetics, a fricative consonant sound, in which the tip, or blade, of the tongue is brought near the roof of the mouth and air is pushed past the tongue to make a hissing sound. In English s, z, sh, and zh (the sound of the s in “vision”) are sibilants. Sometimes ch and j are also considered as sibilant sounds.

The symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet used to denote the sibilant sounds are, respectively, [s] [z] [ʃ] [ʒ] [tʃ] and [dʒ].

Examples of sibilants are the consonants at the beginning

Sip, Seed, Seat, (Sibilant s /s/)

zip, zoo, zone, (Sibilant z /z/ )

ship, she, show (Sibilant sh /ʃ/ )

Genre. Georges (Sibilant zh /ʒ/)

Chin, chair, chalk (Sibilant ch /tʃ/)

Jug, Just, Jeep (Sibilant J /dʒ/ )

Examples of sibilant sounds in the middle

Task, Risk, Dust (Sibilant s /s/)

Caution, Fashion, washing (Sibilant sh /ʃ/ )

Size, citizen, freezing (Sibilant z /z/ )

Usual, Vision, Visual ( Sibilant zh /ʒ/ )

Teaching, Kitchen, Stretching (Sibilant ch /tʃ/ )

Judgement, Suggestion, Region (Sibilant J /dʒ/ )

Sibilant Sounds in the end

Press, Kiss, Guess (Sibilant s /s/)

Dish, Fish, Flourish (Sibilant sh /ʃ/ )

Rose, Shows, Cheese (Sibilant z /z/ )

Beige, Massage, Garage (Sibilant zh /ʒ/ )

Catch, Branch, Bench ( Sibilant ch /tʃ/ )

Strange, Change, Judge (Sibilant J /dʒ/ )

To understand these sound symbols between the slashes, click here.

Read about voiced and voiceless sounds.

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