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Alisa Morgunova
"Sts" problem Ghosts, consists, breasts, beasts, texts — all these words have "sts" sound at the end, if I try to pronounce them. This part of a syllable pronounces just like "s" in casual speech, doesn't it?
5. Aug 2018 21:11
Answers · 5
Native speakers have no problems with consonant clusters. In standard speech (for example, broadcast media), the -sts- is clearly pronounced. However, in casual speech and in some dialects, sounds are sometimes dropped. For example, asks becomes aks in some dialects. For learners who have problems with -sts- (-sps- and -sks-), think of these sounds as basically a long "ssss" broken by a brief stop in the air flow (t, p, or k) ... -sps- is perhap easiest because there is no tongue movement for the [p] sound... try gasps -- gasssss p ssss. -sks - is next easiest because there is minimal tongue movement for the [k] sound ... try desks - desssss k sssss -sts - is a bit harder because the tongue tip moves (but only a small distance from the [s] position to the [t] position and back to the [s] position) In English, the [s] has the tip of the tongue near the teeth, the [t] has the tip of the tongue touch the ridge behind the upper teeth. These two positions are close to each other and it is not hard to quickly make -st- or -ts- or -sts-. If [s] in your first language has a different tongue position, you may have trouble moving between the [s] and [t] positions.
5. August 2018
No, not usually. Native English speakers normally pronounce all three consonants audibly. However, in my personal opinion, if you are really having trouble with it, and your goal is simply fluency in conversational English, you can just pronounce it as "s" and people will understand. Try to get it right someday, but it doesn't need to be a high priority. In one of Stephen King's novels, a character is taught to say "He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts" to conquer his stuttering. That is, the "-sts" sound is difficult for him. I am going to see how well I can do. I am going to speak that phrase, and follow it with two lines from George Orwell's "Animal Farm:" "Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime." I am not going to practice, I am going to read it at full conversational speed, and whatever I record the first time is what I will post, no re-dos. I see someone has posted a YouTube video of a rock version of "Beasts of England." I can hear the -sts clearly, both as sung by the lead singer and the chorus. Actually I don't understand why it _isn't_ difficult for most native speakers. My guess is that it is because there are literally thousands of English words ending in "-st", so we get a lot of practice pronouncing "-st"--and we need the plurals often enough that we get to practice "-sts."
5. August 2018
I pronounce those with harder STS sounds, like you're saying sister, without the E and R.
5. August 2018
Alisa Morgunova
Language Skills
Belarusian, English, Polish, Russian
Learning Language