Sometimes, when I watch American films, I often hear people say "ɪt zɑːn ðə ˈteɪbl" (it is on the table).

I learned in textbook that "it is" can be contracted as "it's" and since "t" is voiceless so we have to pronounce "it's" as "ɪts" not "ɪtz".

But people, especially American ones often say "ɪt zɑːn ðə ˈteɪbl" (it is on the table).

Then I checked the dictionary


UK strong /ɪz/ weak /z/ /s/ US strong /ɪz/ weak /z/ /s/

So I guessed that there is no contraction in the sentence "it is on the table", people pronounce it as "ɪt zɑːn ðə ˈteɪbl" and /z/ is the weak form of "is".

did I guess right?

  • 2
    As a native speaker, I'd definitely interpret "ɪt zɑːn" as it's on, not it is on. Jan 11, 2020 at 0:13
  • @MikeGraham, but "t" is voiceless & you broke the pronunciation rule
    – Tom
    Jan 11, 2020 at 0:15
  • When you have a common phrase with a word that ends with a consonant followed by a word beginning with a vowel, it's common for them to run together. Is that what you're asking about?
    – Barmar
    Jan 11, 2020 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


In American English we would pronounce "it is on" as /ɪɾɪzɑːn/ or /ɪdɪzɑːn/, and "it's on" as /ɪtsɑːn/ or /ɪdzɑːn/. /tz/ is not present in any dialect of American English, and if you think you're hearing it, you're almost certainly actually hearing /dz/, /ts/, or /t z/; in the latter case, the /t/ comes at the end of a word and /z/ at the beginning of another word. This is because consonant clusters must have uniform voicing in American English.


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