Homographs are words that are spelled the same but that have different meanings AND pronunciation. Many of you probably learned read (present tense-bare infinitive) and read (past tense form) early on in your English way to success. Close vs Close is less widely known.
Say it with a /zzzzz/ sound /kləʊz/
When “close” means the opposite of “open”, as to open and close something, please pronounce the ending as a “z”. For example, a closed [z] door.
Examples of /kləʊz/ :
- I closed my emails. /z/
- The case has been closed. /z/
- The meeting drew to a close. /z/
- Many stores have closed down and gone out of business in the recent years. /z/
Say it with an /ssssss/ sound: /kləʊs/
When “close” refers to a distance, either in the concrete sense (as meters, kilometers…) or in a less easily defined notions of space and time (relationships, position), pronounce the “s” as an “s”. For example: a close [s] working relationship.
Examples of /kləʊs/:
- The shopkeeper stood close to the cash register. /s/
- Our chalet is close to the slopes. /s/
- We are close friends. /s/
- This experience will remain close to my heart. /s/