Pronounce /ts/ or /s/

Dear Sirs,

When /ts/ and /s/ are together, you pronounce /ts/ or /s/?Is that right in all cases?

EX: If you see the phonetics transcription in any dictionaries, the word “sweatshirt” has the phonetics transcription as follows:

/ swets…t/

So, you will pronounce:

a. /swet/ /s…t/


b. /swe/ /ts…t/
If you don’t have time, please only answer a or b.

PS:The exact transcription of /ts/ and /s/ is as in anydictionaries.[/b]

It is two nouns joined: /swet shirt/ – and not to be confused with /tsi tsi/ or /shirts/

Dear Sir,

In phonetics, there are 2 sounds: /s/ and /ts/
(/s/ in this case is not /s/ in “see”)

So , please see the transcription of the word “actual” in the dictionary.What I’d like to ask, is:

with : /'a:ts…/

You pronounce only one sound /ts/ or you pronounce separately 2 sounds /t/ (quickly) and /s/.

Same question with “sweatshirt”.The transcription in the dictionary is /'swets…t/
So, for this word, you pronounce 2 sounds /t/ and /s/ or
only one sound /ts/


What happened to the c in “actual”?
Is “:” supposed to represent the c somehow?? :shock:

In the word “sweatshirt”, the t and the s just happen to be next to each other as a result of two nouns being combined. Sweat (including the t) and shirt are two separate and distinct syllables to me. In other words, I pronounce the word sweat the same way both as a stand-alone word (“sweat”) and in combination with shirt (“sweatshirt”).


As with the /dz/ sound we are discussing in another thread, Van, the IPA is a two-character transcription (which we cannot duplicate here, unfortunately-- it is a t followed by a long, attentuated s-shape) of a single sound. Its pronunciation is the ch of chair.


Hi Amy,

Please see the phonetics transcription of “actual” /'aektsu…l/, of “sweatshirt” /'swets…t/ and of “adjective” /'aedzektiv/ in the dictionary.

What I’d like to know, that is when seeing /ts/ and /dz/, only /ts/ or/dz/ is pronounced or we have to pronounce separately 2 sounds /t/, /s/ or /d/, /z/.

With the help of Mister Micawer, I know only /ts/ or /dz/ is pronounced in these cases even though there are 6 sounds /ts/, /dz/, /t/, /s/, /d/, /z/ in English.

If you have another idea, please share with us.

PS: /s/, /z/, /ts/, /dz/ in these cases is as in “adjective”, “actual”, not /s/ in “see” and “z” in “zoo”.