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How to Make the ZH /ʒ/ Sound: 30 Common Words You Need to Know

It's the rarest consonant sound in English- the ZH /ʒ/ as in decision.

Is it worth the effort to perfect?

100% yes and here's why:

Although this sound does not appear in a lot of English words, several of the words it DOES appear in are high-frequency, or in other words, we use them a lot.

If you don’t get the ZH sound right in these words, it’s pretty obvious to your listener.

In this lesson you’ll learn exactly how to pronounce the ZH /ʒ/ consonant sound and we'll practice 30 common words that have this sound together.  

Do you know which sound you' re substituting for ZH?

Moving from SH /ʃ/ to ZH /ʒ/: 1:22
Moving from J /ʤ/ to ZH /ʒ/: 2:47
Moving from S /s/ to ZH /ʒ/: 4:15

Practice words and sentences begin: 6:15

Practice words and sentences used in this lesson:

1) decision

We need to make a decision.

Our decision is final.

2) television

He watches way too much television.

You can’t trust everything you see on television.

3) measure

We use this spreadsheet to measure progress. 

For good measure we made a little extra. 

4) version

Is this the latest version?

He tells a different version of events.

5) vision

My vision is horrible.

I have a vision of how we can make this work.

6) conclusion

In conclusion…

Let’s not jump to conclusions.

7) division

She works in a different division.

That seems like a fair division of duties.

8) pleasure

It’s been a pleasure to meet you.

My pleasure.

9) unusual

These are unusual circumstances.

That’s unusual.

10) visual

I’m a visual learner. 

Let’s create a visual to make this more clear.

11) exposure

Too much exposure to the sun is bad for your skin.

Exposure to lead can be harmful.

12) occasion

What’s the occasion?

I only see him occasionally.

13) usual

As usual, he’s running a bit behind.

Let’s meet at the usual spot.

14) provision

The provision of quality child care can be a challenge.

He’s made no provision for his retirement.

15) explosion

There was a sudden explosion of interest.

Thirty  people were injured in the explosion.

16) invasion

It’s an invasion of privacy.

It’s a full scale military invasion.

17) confusion

There was a lot of confusion after the announcement.

Sorry for the confusion.

18) casual

It’s a very casual atmosphere.

She has a really casual attitude about it.

19) treasure

Knowledge is treasure.

I’ll treasure this moment forever.

20) illusion

She’s under the illusion that she already has the job.

Mirrors can give the illusion of more space.

21) envision

What do you envision for the future?

How do you envision this working?

22) conversion

The office is undergoing a complete conversion.

What’s the current conversion rate?

23) massage

Can you massage my back?

She went for a massage.

24) closure

I need to get some closure on this.

You can check the website for updates on school closures. 

25) aversion

She’s finally overcome her aversion to water.

I have an aversion to Brussels sprouts.

26) leisure

I don’t have a lot of leisure time.

Just get to it in your leisure.

27) collision

It was a head-on collision.

The collision occurred near the hospital.

28) seizure

He suffers from seizures.

These assets are exempt from seizure.

29) composure

You really kept your composure.

He completely lost his composure.

30) supervision

They need constant supervision.

Responsibilities include staff supervision.


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