Decoding the letter X

From Teflpedia

z

xylophone
/ˈzaɪləfəʊn/

ɡz

exact
/ɪɡˈzækt/

ks

taxi
/ˈtæksiː/

The letter X, lower case x (pronounced /eks/) normally represents the sounds /ks/. Sometimes it represents /gz/ and at the beginning of the word it represents /z/. There are also other, less common pronunciations.

As /ks/[edit]

  • At the end of the word: box - complex - fix - fox - index - lynx - matrix - mix - ox - relax - sex - six - tax
  • Before a consonant: context - excavation - exchange - exclusive - excuse - expand - expect - expensive - experience - expert - explain - explore - export - express - extend - extinguisher - extra - mixture - next - Oxford - text
  • Between vowels (the preceding vowel is stressed): boxer - galaxy - exercise - exhibition - Mexico - pixel - saxophone - taxi - Texas - toxic - tuxedo
  • "xc" as /ks/: excel - excellent - except - excess - excite

As /gz/[edit]

  • Between vowels (the following vowel is stressed): auxiliary - Alexander - exact - exaggerate - exam - examination - examine - example - executive - exhaust - exhibit - exist - existence - exotic - exuberant

As /z/[edit]

  • xenophobia - xylophone

As /kʃ/[edit]

  • anxious, complexion, luxury, obnoxious, sexual

As /ɡʒ/[edit]

  • luxurious - luxury

"nx" as /ŋz/[edit]

  • anxiety

Variant pronunciations[edit]

  • exile: /ˈeksaɪl/ or /ˈegzaɪl/
  • exit: /ˈeksɪt/ or /ˈegzɪt/

Homophones[edit]

  • lynx - links

Minimal pairs[edit]

  • lynx - link; next - nest; six - sick; text - test;

/ks/ vs /gz/[edit]

  • tax - tags;

Silent X[edit]

  • Sioux /suː/

Informal spelling[edit]

  • pix: pics, a shortening of pictures
  • thanx: thanks
  • thx: an abbreviation of thanks

See also[edit]