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How to pronounce ‘clothes’

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that even the most difficult sounds or words in English have a ‘shortcut’. A little trick or specific practice that makes pronunciation smooth and simple.

I always try to find those tricks, especially in difficult words to pronounce.
When it comes to the word ‘clothes’, I just love seeing the look of relief on their faces whenever I give my students the following tip.

Get comfortable, and learn how to say ‘clothes’ simply and clearly.

By the way, if you stick to the end you’ll learn the difference between clothes, close (as in ‘close the door’) and close (as in ‘close by’).

Pronouncing ‘clothes’:


Hi, it’s Hadar and this is the Accent’s way, your way to finding clarity, confidence and freedom in English.

Demi asked me to make a video for her students on the word “clothes”. It’s a great word because I have a fantastic tip for you guys that will make the pronunciation of this word really simple.

The beginning of the word starts with klo-klo. It’s a K sound shifting to an L. The tongue goes up to touch the upper palate – KL; the tongue is heavy here, it’s a heavy L. kl and then a long ow, ow. Ow as in “go”. klow, clothes. All right?

So you start with your mouth open and you close it to an ‘u’. Clothes. So it’s not “close”, all right? You don’t want to pronounce it just like an O sound. It’s “clothes”. Think like you’re adding a little W at the end.

The end of the word is a th-z sound. thz, thz. Clothes. Now if you tried making it with me now you probably feel that it’s a little challenging, right? The tongue gets stuck and then it’s hard to shift from the tongue being out to the z-sound. Thz.

True it is a difficult transition. That’s why you can drop the th and instead of saying “clothes” you can say clothz, clothz – just like “close the door”, close.

So even Americans reduce this word to “close” because it’s definitely easier and quicker to pronounce, close.

Now let me say one word about this, the word “clothes”. Make sure that you don’t confuse it with the word “close”, all right. You have two words here with the same spelling pattern: close the door, the verb and also the way to say the word clothes when it’s reduced, clothes.

And then you have “close” the adverb. I’m sitting close to you. “Close”. I’m sitting close. “Close”. Close the door. Or “clothes”. I’m wearing new clothes. Clothes.

Alright, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did please share it with your friends and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t yet.

That’s it, thank you for watching. I’ll see you next week in the next video. Bye.

Do you have any tips and tricks to share?
Or perhaps you need some tips on how to pronounce something?
Leave a comment below!


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