Language Question

Native speakers of English, help me out. When you pronounce the words “shirt” and “short”, do they sound different? When I pronounce them, they sound identical but I wonder if that’s ok. 


13 thoughts on “Language Question”

  1. What TomW said – for me, they sound entirely different. Shirt has the same vowel sound as “shirk” (as in “shirk your responsibilities”, an “er” type sound for me), whereas short has an “or” type sound as in “door”.


      1. Can you pronounce sure and shore differently? What about fur and four? hers and whores?

        You might consider something like a Spanish o for short and a Spanish e for shirt to help distinguish them (though spanish vowels followed by the English r is hard…)


  2. In English English shirt and short are definitely spoken differently, although we don’t usually pronounce the r in either word like Americans and Canadians do. I’m sorry, I don’t know how to describe the differences, I’m no linguist. If the Spanish way helps, go for it!


    1. In American English, “shirt” rhymes with “dirt,” and “short” rhymes with “port.” If you can pronounce the common words “dirt” and “port” correctly, you shouldn’t have trouble with the “s” words.


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