X

In English the letter X has three pronunciations.

In the first row of examples the X sounds like a combination of the letters G and Z. This sound only occurs at the beginning of a word and it is always preceded by the letter E.

In the second row the X sounds like a combination of the letters K and S.

In the third row, the X sounds like a Z. This sound only occurs at the beginning of a word.

Note that the examples are in three columns. The first column provides an example of the sound when it is word initial (at the beginning of the word). The second column provides an example of the sound when it is word internal (in the middle of the word). The third column provides examples of the sound when it is word final (at the end of the word).

Click on the sample words to listen to the sound files. Pay attention to the sound of the letters in bold.

letter IPA* examples
x gz examine
(gzmIn)
reexit
(r IgzIt)
 
ks   taxi
(tksI)
fix
(fIks)
z xenophobe
(znfb)
   

*IPA means International Phonetic Alphabet. Learn more about phonetics and the IPA.

Related lessons:

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