Minimal Pairs /s/ and /ʃ/
sea and she
Below are lists of words that vary only by one having the sound /s/ and the other the sound /ʃ/. You can use this to practise the sounds or as a list of words to be careful to pronounce properly.
/ʃ/ is produced with a much more rounded mouth than /s/, and is the sound we make when we want people to be quiet. If you use your voice with that mouth position, you get the middle sound in "pleasure" and "television".
/s/ is said with the lips pulled back more, with the same mouth position as /z/ but without using your voice.
Advanced* the meaning of the word is not important at this level, but it can still be used to contrast the pronunciation with the other word. For this reason, some of the words are given at two different levels, the second time being when the meaning is also useful.