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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cnmZHPQKNg?fs=1]

The Spanish “S” is relatively straightforward for English speakers as its sound is usually very similar to that of the English “S”, heard in words such as “see” or “bus”, although perhaps the Spanish “S” is a bit shorter. 
In some regions, native Spanish speakers frequently omit the “S” sound when it is located at the end of a syllable. For example: “¿Cómo está usted?” (How are you? Formal) might sound more like “¿Cómo etá uted?” This is common in the south of Spain and some parts of Latin America.
I will now give you some examples of some Spanish words featuring the typical “S” pronunciation and others illustrating the way you might hear the “S” pronounced in the south of Spain and some parts of Latin America and I would like you to repeat each word after me paying attention to the distinct “S” sound. If you would like to see the meaning of any words you are unsure of please see the lesson notes.
First let’s practice the typical “S” sound heard in the majority of Spain.

Listen and repeat:

Sábado: Saturday
Soso: bland
Masa: dough
Seco: dry
Mesa: table
Casa: house
Suma: sum
Sol: sun
Paso: step
Canoso: grey-haired

Now, I will pronounce some Spanish words with the “S” sound at the end of a syllable. 

Listen and repeat:

Mismo: same
Máscara: mask
Rosca: thread
Gatos: cats
Casco: helmet

Finally, I will repeat the same words in the way that you might hear them in the south of Spain and some parts of Latin America, omitting the S sound.

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