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# 3.6: The Consonant Sound [z]

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## The Consonant Sound [z]

1. You can hear the sound [z] at the beginning and end of zebras.

2. Underline the letters that spell [z] in each of these words. It is spelled three different ways:

alway\underline{s}the\underline{s}etho\underline{s}emother\underline{s}mu\underline{s}ic pri\underline{z}e\underline{z}ipperfollow\underline{s}surpri\underline{s}eha\underline{s}\underline{z}oobu\underline{zz}\begin{align*}& \text{alway\underline{s}} && \text{mother\underline{s}} && \text{\underline{z}ipper} && \text{ha\underline{s}} \\ & \text{the\underline{s}e} && \text{mu\underline{s}ic } && \text{follow\underline{s}} && \text{\underline{z}oo} \\ & \text{tho\underline{s}e} && \text{pri\underline{z}e} && \text{surpri\underline{s}e} && \text{bu\underline{zz}} \end{align*}

3. Way #1: [z] is spelled <s>\begin{align*}\underline{}\end{align*} in eight of the words.

Way #2: [z] is spelled <z> in three of the words.

Way #3: [z] is spelled <zz> in one of the words.

4. Sort the words into these three groups:

Words with [z] spelled . . .
Way #1: Way #2:
always music prize
these follows zipper
those surprize zoo
mother has

The word with [z] spelled Way #3 is buzz .

5. Three ways to spell [z] are <s>\begin{align*}\underline{}\end{align*}, <z> and <zz>.

6. Three ways to spell [s] are <s>\begin{align*}\underline{}\end{align*}, <c> and <ss>

7. The letter that sometimes spells [z] and sometimes spells [s] is <s>\begin{align*}\underline{<\mathrm{s}>}\end{align*}.

Word Scrambles. Each of the strings of letters below can be unscrambled to spell aword containing the sound [s] or [z]. We’ve told you in each case whether the word

contains [s] or [z]:

wasalyheetsswollofziperdakesconelocdestglinesshoetalwaysthesefollowsprizeaskedoncecoldestsinglethose[z][z][z][z][s][s][s][s][z]\begin{align*}& \text{wasaly} && \underline{always} && \text{[z]}\\ & \text{heets} && \underline{these} && \text{[z]}\\ & \text{swollof} && \underline{follows} && \text{[z]}\\ & \text{ziper} && \underline{prize} && \text{[z]}\\ & \text{dakes} && \underline{asked} && \text{[s]}\\ & \text{cone} && \underline{once} && \text{[s]}\\ & \text{locdest} && \underline{coldest} && \text{[s]}\\ & \text{glines} && \underline{single} && \text{[s]}\\ & \text{shoet} && \underline{those} && \text{[z]}\end{align*}

Teaching Notes. Although we associate the sound [z] with the letter <z>, [z] is spelledwith <z> only about half as often as it is with <s>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*}. The reason for that is that [s] and [z] are a voice-pair, which means that they are essentially the same sound except that [z] isvoiced and [s] is unvoiced. When we utter a voiced sound, we vibrate our vocal cords;when we utter a voiceless sound, we do not vibrate them. But when unvoiced [s] has voiced sounds before or after it, it tends to become voiced, making it sound like [z]. Forinstance, that is why the plural suffix s\begin{align*}\mathrm{-s}\end{align*} it cats is pronounced [s], but in dogs it is pronounced [z]: The [t] in cats is unvoiced; the [g] in dogs is voiced. So we get the twoplurals [kats] and [dogz]. The spellings of [z] are discussed in Book Eight. For more on[z], see AES, pp. 391-97.

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