In order to learn spoken English it is important to be aware of certain inconsistencies. The English spelling system is does not necessarily match spoken English which can cause issues when you want to pronounce English words. We must remember that English does not always have a one-on-one relationship between the alphabet and spoken sounds.
There are 26 letters in the English (Roman) alphabet that make many different sounds in spoken English. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, American English has 25 consonant sounds and up to 18 vowel. .
The letter S can represent several different sounds depending on its location in a word.
In the word same the “s” sounds like /s/. In the word leisure the “s” sounds like /zh/. In the word design the “s” sounds like /z/.
The fact that “s” has three sounds can be very confusing when you are learning to speak English from a written text!
The letter C Lets look at some English words that begin with the consonant “c”. city century cat cut cot
The letter “c” in the words city and century sounds like /s/. The letter “c” in the words cat and cut and cot sounds like /k/.
Pay attention to the spelling of the five words above. The rule is that “c” sounds like /s/ when it falls before the vowels “i” and “e”. It sounds like the /k/ when it falls before the vowels “a”, “o” and “u”.
The way a consonant sounds is based on it’s position within a word.
The last letter is the letter X. Sometimes an “x” sounds like /ks/ and sometimes it sounds like /egz/. For example, the “x” in fox sounds like /ks/, and the “x” exam sounds like /egz/.