18

So I can pronounce friend just fine. But when you add an s to it how do you transition from the d sound to the s sound? Do you just ignore the d altogether?

44

You may pronounce it with a stopped /d/ or without it—/frɛndz/ or frɛnz/—in practice, nobody will notice.

  • 19
    I will notice. Perhaps Americans won't. – Michael Kay Nov 2 '15 at 9:26
  • @MichaelKay you may notice, but both ways are equally correct. so it doesn't matter. – Apologize and reinstate Monica Nov 2 '15 at 22:43
  • 9
    @MichaelKay Perhaps I'm wrong. But Eastpond speakers don't seem to care: I've just listened to speeches by Cameron, Corbyn and the Queen, and all three waffle back and forth between including and omitting /d/ in friends, thousands, funds. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 3 '15 at 0:04
  • @StoneyB maybe you can't hear it well because you are not used to using it. But to a British native leaving out the d sounds very distinctly wrong and I can assure you that the three mentioned above are not leaving them out in speeches. – JamesRyan Nov 3 '15 at 15:40
  • 2
    @JamesRyan I am quite used to using it: I was an actor for 30 years, trained to employ a rather old-fashioned mode of "diction" when it was required. I can assure you that those three vary between /nz/ and /ndz/ with stress and speed. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 3 '15 at 19:46
14

Not much of a transition needed. Compare with the word cards, it does not become cars.

If your native language does not have that 'ds' sound/transition, I can understand that it might be hard for you to pronounce it. In that case you can get away with frɛnz just make sure you get that z-sound. You could maybe get away with frɛntz if you say it fast but that might sound a bit Germanish.

6

The ds at the end becomes a z sounds, like zoo

  • 24
    I disagree - I am quite particular about pronoindcing the 'd' in 'dz' - no need to drop it, in practice (for the listener, SotneyB is probably correct that few people would notice, however, an analogy on this is that no-one will notice the bassline in a song. Most people won't, but to the trained ear, it is quite prominent. I therefore don't advocate teaching "lazy English" to people who are learning English as a second language. – martin Nov 1 '15 at 19:40
  • 1
    So, you want the d? It's inaudible, unless you can prove otherwise, there's nothing lazy about it. – jgritty Nov 1 '15 at 19:44
  • 1
    I can hear a difference between /frɛnds/ and /frɛnz/ but /frɛndz/ is the same as the latter. You can't get from the n to z without making a d sound. Think of endzone vs enzyme, the nz vs ndz is about as identical as sounds can get, unless you try to unnaturally stretch end-zone into 2 words. I am pretty particular about pronoindciation as well, but this is pedantic. – jgritty Nov 1 '15 at 19:57
  • 3
    My tongue is in a completely different place in my mouth when I pronouce friends in comparison to when I probnouce enzyme - perhaps it is because I am British (pedantic, as you say - hence no downvote!) ;) – martin Nov 1 '15 at 20:06
  • 1
    In InE, we definitely pronounce both together -'dz'. – Maulik V Nov 2 '15 at 11:39
3

It is pronounced with the affricate [d͡z]. A good way of thinking of it is as the "j" sound /d͡ʒ/ but with your tongue at the location of /d/, either touching the back of your teeth or closely behind them. Also, make sure to only touch the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue.

2

This is very accent specific and there's no real "wrong" way within the following

  • z - the D is softened to the point that the ds becomes a Z sound
  • Dz - the D is slightly softened, but the D is still pronounced. The S becomes a Z sound
  • Dss/tss - the S becomes almost a hiss, with the D remaining fairly sharp and the D almost resembling a T
  • ss - as above, the s becomes a hiss but the D is softened or almost entirely dropped

My own accent (one of the many North-Western English accents) mostly uses the latter two

  • There IS a right way and a wrong way. If you learn the right way and know you are being lazy when you leave the d out then, if someone doesn't understand, you have the option to say it properly so that it is clearer. – JamesRyan Nov 3 '15 at 15:37
  • 2
    No. There is no official way to pronounce any English word. English is an evolved language. You're English, you know as well as I do that no two towns in the UK pronounce a word exactly the same way... If English is pronounced well enough to be understood, it's English. – Jon Story Nov 3 '15 at 16:38
  • 1
    A telephone voice doesn't have less of an accent, it has more of one: received pronunciation is an accent. Dropped letters are accent, not laziness. – Jon Story Nov 3 '15 at 17:10
  • 1
    An accent is not laziness, you have a very strange view of language and linguistics if you believe that. Language evolves over time, accents are one facet of that – Jon Story Nov 3 '15 at 17:49
  • 1
    @JamesRyan: The trouble with your assertion that "an accent is laziness" is that it presupposes that there must exist some form of speech which is accent-free. The problem is that no one can agree on which set of pronunciations is correct. I'm an American, and I speak with a General American accent (which most Americans would consider accent-free). Yet you would undoubtedly consider me to have an accent. And vice versa. Unless all regions of the English-speaking world can agree on a single accent (which will never happen), it is impossible to speak without an accent. – Scott Severance Jul 8 '16 at 4:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.