These two consonants are paired together because they take the same mouth position. Learn the correct mouth position for these sounds to pronounce them clearly and accurately.
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The SH and DJ consonant sounds. These two sounds are paired together because they take the same mouth position. Sh is unvoiced, meaning only air passes through the mouth. And dj is voiced, meaning you make sound with your vocal cords. To make this sound, the teeth come together, the corners of the lips come in, and the rest of the lips flare. Sh, dj. The tongue raises a bit in the middle. It doesn’t touch the roof of the mouth, but it does press against the inside corner of the top teeth. Sh, dj. The front part of the tongue comes down, but it’s far enough back that it’s not touching anything in the mouth. Sh, dj.
Here we see the sh/dj sound on the right compared with the mouth at rest on the left. The corners of the lips do come in, but rather than rounding, the lips come away from the face, so more of the teeth are exposed. Here, parts of the mouth are drawn in. The soft palate is raised for these sounds. The tongue reaches up towards the roof of the mouth without touching. The tip of the tongue comes back down behind the teeth, which are closed, but it’s a little too far back to be touching. Sample words: ship/measure, dish/decision, wash/mirage. Sample sentence: She made the decision to get a beige bed spread with chic striped sheets. both straight on and from an angle, so you can really see how the mouth moves when making this sound.
She, lips take the SH position, corners somewhat in but lips away from the face. Teeth closed. Made, lips together for the M. Tongue through the teeth for the TH, the decision. Tongue up and teeth closed for the D sound. Decision, here’s the dj mouth position. To get, T pronounced as a D here. Tongue up to make that D. A beige, lips together for the B, and it ends in the voiced dj sound. Teeth together, and note the lip position. Lips together for the B, bedspread. Tongue for the D, teeth together for the S, lips together for the P. Spread. Tongue up again for the D. With, lips form the W sound, tongue through the teeth for the TH. Chic, SH sound. Teeth together and the SH lip position. C Striped, teeth together for the S, lips take the R position. Lips together for the P. And sheets, with the SH sound, teeth together, lips away from the face.
And now from an angle. She, teeth together and lips out away from the face, sh. Made, lips together for the M. The, tongue through the teeth for the TH and to the roof of the mouth for the D sound. Teeth together for the S, decision. Here is the voiced dj mouth position. To get a, all unstressed and quick words. Beige, lips together for the B, and here again the voiced dj mouth position. Lips together for the B in bedspread, ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’ vowel, tongue up for the D. Teeth together for the S and lips together for the P. Spread, tongue up for the D. With, lips form the tight W. Chic, the sh, SH mouth position. Striped, teeth together and tongue forward to make the S. There’s the R position in the lips. Lips together for the P. Sheets, the SH mouth position, ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel, corners of the lips pull back, and the teeth together for the TS sound. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.