English JSSCE


Diphthong is a Greek word which means “double sound”. The articulation of diphthongs involves a glide from one vowel quality to the other. A diphthong is therefore a vowel which changes its quality in the process of its articulation.

/ei/ e.g.   gate, cake, take, place, date, gauge etc.

/əᴜ/ e.g.  home, go, owl, own, road, load, coat etc

/ai/ e.g.  high, buy, five, rice, write, kite, fry, price etc.

/au/ e.g.  how, cloud, out, house, blouse, browse etc.

/Ɔi/ e.g.  boy, joy, toy, oil, toil coin, boil etc .

/iə/ e.g.  here, ear, idea, fear, beer ,rear etc.

/eə/ e.g.  air, their, where, hair, fair etc

/ᴜә/ e.g.  during, pure, sure, tour…


Indicate the diphthong used in the following words e.g. Eye – /ai/

coat –

spy –

point –

tape –

tour –


Consonant Contrast /s/, /ʒ/

To pronounce /s/, the tip of the tongue is raised towards the root/ridge of the front teeth. The sides of the tongue touch the upper teeth. There is a little opening between the tongue and the teeth. The air from the mouth passes through this opening. No activity is going on in the voice box. /s/ is a voiceless consonant. When there is a lot of noise in a place of meeting sometimes we use /s/ to make people keep quiet: shshsh…….

To pronounce /ʒ/, the tongue remains in the position for /s/ but we use the air from the lungs.

Activity is going on in the voice box. /ʒ/ is a voiced consonant.

In written English, /s/ is spelt in the following forms.

Sh (shut, shore, cushion…), ch (machine, chalet, chassis…), ce (ocean…), ti (nation), ci (ancient, special, species…)

Notice that in written English, /ʒ/ may be spelt in any of the following forms.

S (measure, pleasure, visual,….), si (decision, confusion, division,….), g (garage, regime, genre,….).

/s/         /ʒ/

mission vision

marshal measure

pressure pleasure

shave    save

addition division

pleasant pleasure


/s/ is heard in the following sentences.

Shut the door please

Parts of Lagos is on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean

I want only two cubes of sugar in my tea.

The ancient Songhai empire was destroyed.

Do you know the passion flower?

/ʒ/ is heard in the following sentences.

You need a ruler to measure this room.

There are two garages for our cars.

The referee’s decision is final in a match.

Usually our day begins with prayers.

In a democratic regime people vote to elect their leaders.


Write out five words each for consonants /s/ and /ʒ/.


Underline the /ʒ/ consonant from the following sentences.

The man has lost his vision; he is blind.

The casualty ward of the hospital is empty.

I spend my leisure time reading novels.

His regime as president was peaceful.

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