pronunciation of 'equation'


Senior Member
words ending with -tion are usually pronounced /shin/, but 'equation' is an exception (pronounced like words ending with -sion). Can you think of any other exceptions?
Thanks in advance
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I agree with rover that /shin/ is not representative of how this syllable is normally pronounced. The vowel represented by /i/ here is actually /ə/ or schwa. In IPA the syllable, as in emotion, is /ʃən/. In fact, to get back to the direct topic, the OED gives this syllable as an alternative pronunciation for equation: iːˈkweɪʃən, along with what I would consider the more usual iːˈkweɪʒən.

    I think the separation of the vowels in the diphthong /eɪ/ is more pronounced in equation that it is in say nation (i.e. in nation the diphthong is more "unitary"), and there is a tendency for ʃ to becomeʒ after the second vowel, somewhat like that as in lesion.


    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I don't agree with the original premise at all - I can't think of a -tion word I don't pronounce like "equation"


    I pronounce them all /
    ən/. I agree that the preceding consonant may vary but I wouldn never pronounce any with an "i".

    Ah rereading MM's post - if the original poster meant to indicate the schwa by "i", then I don't disagree.
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    Me neither.

    Strange, isn't it - I wonder why we pronounce "equation" with that voiced /ʒ/ sound?

    Wow, this is strange indeed. It is pronounced with the voiced /ʒ/ sound and I can't think of another word that does that with the spelling of "tion." Doesn't seem possible it's the only word that does that...

    "Corrode to corrosion I can understand, the verb with a voiced "d," the "s" being voiced as /ʒ/ in the noun.... don't suppose that the original verb was "equade" do you? ;)
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