Currently I'm studying English pronunciation and having a hard time pronouncing the t's sound such as it's and that's. I thought that "t's" sounded the same as the "ch" sound but one of my friend said it doesn't sound the same.

She said that my tongue has to touch the palate to pronounce "t's" and it sounds more like the "z" sound.

But since she is French, I couldn't believe it without asking English native speakers.

Can you guys help me?

  • 1
    Well, there is a difference between "ts" and "ch". We can help you more if you say what your native language is.
    – herisson
    Aug 2, 2015 at 18:58
  • ts will make a hissing sound, and ch a hushing sound. it will be hard to feel where your tongue is.
    – user31341
    Aug 2, 2015 at 19:02
  • @sumelic thanks for your help.. my native lang is Korean..
    – Umar Aham
    Feb 25, 2016 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


Can you pronounce the T and S sounds independently? Then, can you pronounce "TSSSSS"? T's isn't a special writing combination in English the way CH is, it's just those T and S sounds in sequence.

Technically, you would touch your tongue not to your palate but to the alveolar ridge, the bit of hard meaty tissue that's just behind your upper front teeth.

If by Z your friend happened to mean "the way the letter Z is pronounced in German or Pinyin", that's pretty much spot on. If she meant the way it's pronounced in most languages, then no.

The pronunciation is different from a common Z sound in two ways: you need to briefly stop the passage of air through your mouth in order to make the T part (in that way it's more like a DZ than a Z) and you do not vibrate your vocal cords (in that way it's more like a SS, or a "whispered" Z than like a normal Z).


This answer is a little late but considering that the thread has been viewed thousands of times, I think it's worth adding another answer.

When I pronounce "itch" my tongue does not touch my teeth. When I say "its" it does.

Listen to the difference here by clicking on the speaker image.

its - https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/its?q=its

itch - https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/itch_1?q=itch

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