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It's almost impossible to pronounce something like [sð] (e.g. ‘it's there’). I have heard a lot of natives pronouncing this conjunction, and every time it sounds a bit different for me, so I can't get what sound(s) exactly I hear.

Would appreciate some examples with IPA transcriptions.

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Do you mean it's almost impossible for you to pronounce? I'm a native speaker, and it gives me no trouble at all. Also, what good will IPA representations do you if you're having trouble making the phoneme transitions at all? Your problem seems to be one that non-native speakers of any language have: you simply aren't coding for the precise phonemes. For example, I can't hear the difference between hard L and soft L in Russian. But Russians do it with ease. –  Robusto Jun 25 at 11:56
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After you just have pronounced [s], your tongue is in inconvenient position for the quick transition to [ð], that's why people shrink two sounds to something I don't really understand how to pronounce. –  Dmitry Nikitenko Jun 25 at 12:32
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You move your tongue from the position for [s] to the position for [θ]. I don't have any trouble with it. Maybe you just need practice. When I say /sθ/ fast I pronounce the /s/ with my tongue a little farther forward than normal, so maybe what I'm doing is pronouncing a voiceless dental sibilant fricative, IPA symbol [s̪ ] –  Peter Shor Jun 25 at 13:04
    
Dmitry Nikitenko, it seems that Peter Shor is correct. You just need more practice. While you're doing that, you can try it without attempting a quick transition. That could be easier for you. –  Tristan r Jun 25 at 13:06
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Thanks, Peter, I believe this is what I'm looked for. –  Dmitry Nikitenko Jun 25 at 14:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think you are asking about timing the change in voicing with the change in place of articulation.

As your tongue moves from s to ð, it gradually slides down along the upper teeth and, once you are in the θ zone, voicing kicks in, giving you a ð sound.

I don't think it's really possible to time voicing and θ perfectly -- you make θ first, and voicing starts right after.

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I think you should take a little pause after saying it’s and then say there. Or you can just pronounce th as d. I, personally, not being a native speaker, did not find difficulties pronouncing it. Keep in mind that it’s and there are not stuck to each other; they're different words.

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Per meta.english.stackexchange.com/a/4722, please ‘never’ use 𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚘𝚜𝚙𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚎𝚡𝚝 or ˋbackticksˋ on ELU. –  tchrist Jul 1 at 10:04
    
Okay :) I won't. –  Coven Member 6 Jul 1 at 13:55

The 'th' sound following 's' is made with the identical tongue/teeth/lips position as 'th' in the word 'thing' except it's voiced. You should feel a slight tingling sensation on the tongue.

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