Pronunciation · speaking · vocabulary

How to Pronounce Words with SC

Today we’re going to work on your word power. Ready to get into shape?

fascinating

I heard a couple of foreign fitness instructors talk about muscles with [sk]. Some of my students say muscle with [sk]. They also want to say descend with [sk]. But both these words are pronounced with [s].

It’s true that most sc words are pronounced [sk]. Prescribe is an example.

But there are also a lot that are said with [s].

Muscle is written with sc, but you pronounce this as mussel.

Did you know that? Good for you.

How can you decide whether to say [sk] or [s]?

The words with sc that are said with [sk] often have an r in the spelling. So like: scr.

The words with sc that sound like [s] often have an e in the spelling. Like this: sce. Or an i, like in science.

Use this video to get a feel for the sc words that are said with [s] and remember to check your dictionary before you use a new word with sc in it.

This video takes ten words from the list below. These are really very common words that everybody should know. Because I don’t believe you should learn dumb lists of words, each word has an example sentence.

The rest of the words (underneath) are for more advanced speakers of English, but they’re common too.

Here is a list of some common words with sc that are pronounced [s]:

Abscess = an infected area of skin, often with yellow pus

Adolescence = puberty, the years when a young person is a teenager

Adolescent = teenager

Science

Scientist

Scientific = connected to science

Ascend and descend = go up and go down

Ascent and descent = These are the noun forms of ascend and descend. Ascent means the going up, and descent means the coming down.

Ascertain = verify, make sure

Ascetic = a person or a way of life of living without luxury, often for spiritual purposes

Asceticism = a life without luxury

Convalesce = recover (after an illness)

Convalescence = recovery after an illness

Convalescence = the person who recovers

Discern = notice

Disciple = student

Discipline = the ability to control oneself

Effervescent = enthusiastic

Evanescent = disappearing

Eviscerate = to remove the vital parts of something

Fascinating = very interesting

Fluorescent = shining with fluor light

Susceptible = easily influenced

Insusceptible = not easily influenced

Lascivious = desiring sex

Miscellaneous = varied (mixed with different things)

Obscene = morally disgusting

Obscenity = what is offensive to common decency

Oscillate = to move back and forth

Putrescent = rotting

Transcend = to pass the limits, often to be better

Scene = part of a play or TV series.

Now here is the rub (problem):

Sc can also be pronounced [sh]:

Fascist = someone who believes in authoritarian nationalism

Conscious = aware (knowing about something)

Consciousness = awareness

Consciously = while being aware

Conscience = your inner moral sense about right and wrong

Crescendo = increase in loudness (of music)

Luscious = pleasant, attractive, delicious

Delicious = yummy

Prosciutto = a kind of ham (cold meat)

Eschew = to avoid doing

Video of these: maybe some other time.

Still have questions about the subject of this post? Let other learners know in a comment.

3 thoughts on “How to Pronounce Words with SC

  1. God bless you, thank you so much. The Lord is waiting for you.

    You area blessing

    From Mexico City

    God bless you.

    El 14/05/2016, a las 5:21 a.m., English with a Smile <comment-reply@wordpress.com> escribió:

    Jacqueline posted: “Today we’re going to work on your word power. Ready to get into shape? I heard a couple of foreign fitness instructors talk about muscles with [sk]. Some of my students say muscle with [sk]. They also want to say descend with [sk]. But both these wor”

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