Today I heard in two (totally unrelated) videos the same unexpected pronunciation of the word 'assume' by native speakers. Googling came up with /əˈsjuːm/ both for English and American pronunciation (and that's also what I had expected. However, what I heard in those videos clearly was something like "a-shoom". Is that a specific dialect?

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    Link to videos please
    – Peter
    Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 10:11
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    "Yod coalescence ‎(uncountable) (phonology): A process in English phonology whereby the clusters [dj], [tj], [sj], and [zj] become [dʒ], [tʃ], [ʃ], and [ʒ], respectively, through mutual assimilation." (Wiktionary). In your case, the cluster [sj] becomes [ʃ].
    – Yay
    Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 10:29
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    Your average American English speaker does not pronounce the word as either /əˈsjuːm/ or /əˈ ʃuːm/... that is some kind of British English pronunciation. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 0:26
  • @Peter youtu.be/5XzLyM5kzgg?t=83 She does the same thing with other words. She is Australian, living in the US.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:54
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    @Yay, this could have been an answer.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


As described in this ELU answer, the pronunciation of assume in most British and Australian accents is /əˈsjuːm/ with the /s/ followed by a yod ('y' as in you). There's a tendency to merge an /s/ with the following /j/ ('y') to /ʃ/ ('sh' sound), so most people merge them to /ʃ/: [əˈʃuːm] (a-shoom). [Assimilation]

By contrast, in most North American accents, the cluster /sj-/ has been simplified to /s-/, so they might pronounce it [əˈsuːm] (a-soom).

Another example is bless you pronounced bleshoo in fast speech.

And according to another answer, [əˈsjuːm] is the normal pronunciation of 'assume' in British English but it's possible though that some people might pronounce it [əˈʃuːm] in rapid speech and it isn't strange at all.


It is not so much incorrect as it is dialectal or personal (in the sense of how one pronounces things). I for one pronounce it as a-shyoom. I think it's a more British/Australian pronunciation.

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