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I am looking for a pronunciation of the word слезы (tears) and saw on forvo.com both spellings слезы and слёзы which are pronounced differently. Is the meaning the same in both cases and how/why do they differ?

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They are pronounced exactly the same way because it is exactly same word. The usage letter "ё" from the very beginning of its existence (it was introduced at the end of XVIII century) was quite controversial and almost never - obligatory.

That leads to this double spellings. In some cases it finally affected the way we pronounce some words (nobody's saying Рёрих nowadays, other very famous example is "свекла"/"cвёкла"), but this never happened with "слёзы", which obeys regular rules of pronouncing words with "ё" ("йо" at the beginning, palatalization of preceding consonant plus "о" anywhere else).

Keep in mind though, that singular form, "слеза" is exactlу without "ё", the same, for instance, with "звезда"/"звёзды".

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    Я не увидел ни единой слезы – Elena Jan 4 at 17:11
  • @Elena that's singular and it mentioned in answer – shabunc Jan 4 at 17:12
  • @Elena, a namesake? Why does the site allow this phenomenon... – Elena Jan 4 at 17:16
  • @Elena, probably the site 'thinks' that the identification = name + avatar. But the avatar is not visible in the comments and this can lead to misunderstandings. – Elena Jan 4 at 17:30
  • The phrase "which are pronounced differently" in the question makes me think that we are dealing with genitive "слезы" here rather than е/ё interchanging. – Alexander Jan 4 at 18:46
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The answer can be traced through the question. enter image description here It means, слезы is the Genitive case singular,

and слёзы is the Nominative case plural. This word, as you can see from the previous answer, can be written without dots above е, but it retains the ё-pronunciation.

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