I am having trouble pronouncing back to back 's' words.

Suppose I want to say:

He loves English songs.

How should I say it without giving a pause between english and song ?

Is it

He loves Englishongs.


He loves Englisongs.

I hope you understand what I am trying to say here.

  • 1
    In very rapid speech the two sounds might coalesce (to something midway between them - closer in sound to your first than your second, but not quite there), but normally, even when speaking quickly, I glide from one sibilant to the other with no pause in between.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 13, 2017 at 22:45
  • I cannot glide from one sibilant to other that smoothly, I feel awkward and end up giving one awkward pause. So, when talking, I should prefer I first one as it sounds closely to the first words ?
    – Spectra
    Oct 13, 2017 at 22:59
  • 3
    @Mick: Nah, that's gonna make you sound like a caricature of an old Italian organ grinder.
    – Robusto
    Oct 14, 2017 at 0:56
  • 1
    @Spectra: Practice going from shhhhh to sssss and back to shhhhh by sliding the tongue forward to touch the area behind the front teeth and back again. Go slowly at first and then increase your speed. The hacks some commenters want you to try here are a cure that is worse than the disease. Then try word combos like "fish songs" and "base shift" (again, slowly at first) and then increase your speed until "English songs" trips off your tongue.
    – Robusto
    Oct 14, 2017 at 0:59
  • 1
    Really you need a phonetician to answer the question, because native speakers are an unreliable source about native speech (we tend to firmly believe we speak more precisely and correctly in casual conversation than we actually do). As someone said at WordReference: "in fast speech you could say spani shpeakers and no one would understand anything but Spanish speakers. The actual phonetics of recorded speech almost never corresponds to what people think they've said." ( forum.wordreference.com/threads/… )
    – rjpond
    Oct 14, 2017 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


Neither way. The /ʃ/ (sh) in English and the /s/ in songs are two different sounds. They are not interchangeable and any effort to eliminate one of them is going to make you sound drunk or like you have a speech impediment, particularly the first one you suggest. The only acceptable way is Englishsongs

Rather than speed up, sometimes it is helpful to slow down. Get accuracy first, then practise speed because if you can't say it slowly then you certainly won't be able to do it rapidly.

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