English Pronunciation Tip: Say, Says, Said

YouTube video

Pronunciation & Shadowing Courses

Today’s video is going to be a quick pronunciation tip on a very common verb, which is the word “say.” You might be surprised that the pronunciation changes when we say different forms of this word.

In this lesson I’m going to ask you to repeat after me, because the best way to practice pronunciation is for you to say the words out loud, not just watch me say them.

You can also get a LOT more pronunciation training inside my courses called American English Pronunciation and Shadowing with Shayna – you’ll practice all the different sounds in English, both in individual words and in sentences.

All right, let’s go ahead and learn how to pronounce these words correctly.

How to pronounce “say” and “saying”

Say and saying have the same “ay” sound as in way, stay, and okay. Repeat after me: say.


Let’s try some sentences:

  • I always say that practice makes perfect.
  • We were afraid to say anything.
  • He left without saying goodbye.

Easy, right? No surprises there.

How to pronounce “says” and “said”

The word says and the word said have a different sound – they have the “eh” sound as in “red.”

Repeat after me: says / said.


Can you hear the difference? Say – says – said.


And now try these sentences:

  • She always says that practice makes perfect.
  • The manager says this project is important.
  • We said goodbye before we left.
  • Sorry, I couldn’t hear what you said.

Let’s practice all three one last time: say, says, said.


Got it? If you want to improve your pronunciation even more, join my courses on American English Pronunciation and Shadowing with Shayna. Thanks for practicing with me today, and I’ll see you next time!

Speak English more clearly & confidently!

English Pronunciation Tip: Say, Says, Said Espresso English

Learn more about these courses