Is there a some of kind of rule affecting the pronunciation of "es" coming at the end of a word? In some words I hear "-es" as "ɪz" and in some others I hear it as a "əz".

I also noticed that people having a British accent prefer pronouncing with "ɪz" more.

Some examples: boxes (əz (with schwa)) houses (əz) misses (ɪz) fixes (ɪz)

  • 1
    English spelling does not represent, or aim to represent, modern English pronunciation. Hence there is no such rule. -es is a suffix that can be pronounced in several ways, or not pronounced at all. Most English affixes are like that. This is why the spelling and pronunciation of English words must be learned separately; native speakers learn the pronunciation first and then (some of the) spelling. Non-native speakers are often taught "spelling rules" instead of just memorizing spelling, the way German learners have to memorize the gender and plural form of every noun. Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 16:41
  • 2
    Pretty sure I pronounce all of those the same. Unfortunately dictionaries tend not to give the pronunciation for what seem to be regular plurals. However in other words (even plurals) "es" can be pronounced differently, e.g. "notes", "bases" when the plural of "basis". This seems more of an English Language Learners question though.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 20:13
  • SEE ALSO: acres, après-ski, axes¹, axes², bases¹, bases², besides, Cannes, canoes, caries, carries, Ceres, certes, chrysalides, crises, daises, diabetes, does¹, does², dyes, elves, faeces, frijoles, funguses, goggles, gules, Hades, hoes, ibides, ibises, ides, indexes, indices, James, Jeeves, Johannes, Limoges, mitasses, mores, moustaches, neves, omnes, ones, peoples, rendezvouses, res, résumés, ropes, roses, Rose’s, series, Seychelles, Socrates, tagetes, testes, toes, Versailles, wives, yes.
    – tchrist
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 23:31