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How to Say English Words Ending in TION

Posted On: July 24, 2013

In its purpose to confuse and perplex, native English speakers have a unique way of pronouncing words that end in TION. Words in this category can include (not limited to): motion, perception, exception, pronunciation, etc. 

Pronunciation Tips for TION: 

  • TI sounds like SH.  
  • ON can sound like “un” (as in “shun”) or “in” (as in “shin”) depending on the regional accent in the U.S., or possibly depending on the speed at which someone is speaking and if there are other words after the word with TION. (Typically if a TION word is simply listed as a word out of the context of a sentence, it could be heard as shun, but take that same word in a sentence, then possibly the suffix may be heard as shin.)
Also, many words ending in TION have many syllables, so it’s important to break the syllables correctly to get the right pronunciation. Watch this video on YouTube to get more insight into this. 

To practice in more detail, here’s a video the author of this post, Jennifer Kumar has made to help you pronounce “encryption.”




Some Gujarati, Oriya and other speakers of Indian languages confuse this sound in speech. When trying to make this sound, an American may hear a ZH (SH with vibration), a J sound or an S sound.  

For a comparison of J and Z sounds, click here for a video tutorial.


Jennifer Kumar, owner of this blog helps Indians to speak with more clarity in cross-cultural business contexts with U.S. Americans. She helps your India based teams communicate more effectively on virtual teams with US American citizens

Networkedblogs link: http://networkedblogs.com/Nrsa9
“tion shin shun pronunciation”
Original post: July 2013, updated April 2020

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