The Difference Between /s/ and /sh/ – English Pronunciation

Learn how to say the difference between the ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sound!

Welcome to this training on how to say the difference between the ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sounds.

To make the ‘s’ sound, make your mouth into a smile and let the air go out of your mouth over your tongue.

To make the ‘sh’ sound put your lips quite forward to start with. This makes your tongue go forward slightly in your mouth. The sides of your tongue touch the inside of your bottom teeth.  Your tongue is held wider for ‘sh’.

How to make the ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sound:

We’ll do ‘s’ first and then ‘sh’ (watch video for demonstration). You should notice that the air coming out of your mouth on the back of your hand feels thinner for ‘s’, and wider for ‘sh’.

Don’t forget to Smile for ‘s’ and  Lips quite forward for ‘sh

Practise word pairs:

Sip – ship

Sock – shock

Seep – sheep

Sell -shell

Of course, as you get used to the difference, you won’t have to move your lips quite as much but it’s handy at first to help feel the difference.

You’ll find a fuller explanation and a detailed training video with lots of practise material for this in our course at

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Also, for more English pronunciation tips, check out this video lesson on How to Say /dr/ and /tr/ Words Naturally in English.

Bye for now.

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