Pronunciation exercises: /dʒ/ vs /ʒ/

From Teflpedia




/dʒ/ is an affricate consonant; it can't last long. /ʒ/ is a fricative consonant; this means it is possible to make it sound for a long time: /ʒʒʒ/. However, in normal speech /ʒ/ has a length similar to other consonants.


If a word begins or ends with /ʒ/ then it must be a loanword or a foreign word. Also, most words that have /ʒ/ are enclosed in vowels.


  • equation - usually
  • ending in "sion": conclusion - confusion - decision - division - occasion - provision - television - vision
  • ending in "sual": usual - visual
  • ending in "sure": exposure - measure - pleasure

Words derived from French: beige, genre, lingerie


Since /ʒ/ normally doesn't appear at the beginning or end of the word, we will concentrate on the sound in mid position.

At the beginning of the word: just, general

At the end of the word: change, edge

In the middle of the word:

Between vowels: agent, budget, imagine, intelligence, manager, major, original, project, region, register, religious, reject
Other cases: arrangement, dangerous, engineer, largely, management, passenger

/dʒ/ vs /ʒ/[edit]

There are very few minimal pairs /dʒ/ vs /ʒ/.

  • pledger (someone who pledges) - pleasure; legion - lesion;

Only in Received Pronunciation

  • ledger - leisure

Only in American English

  • jock - Jacques
  • virgin - version

Variant pronunciations[edit]

Some words of French origin can be pronounced with /dʒ/ in addition to the original /ʒ/.

  • garage
  • BrE: /ˈɡærɑːʒ, ˈɡærɑːdʒ/ also /ˈɡærɪdʒ/
  • AmE: /ɡəˈrɑːʒ, ɡəˈrɑːdʒ/

Spanish L1[edit]

See IPA phoneme /ʒ/ § Spanish.


See also[edit]