I'm looking for the pronunciation of the word слезы (tears). On forvo.com both spellings слезы and слёзы are listed and pronounced differently. Is the meaning the same in both cases and how/why do they differ?

2 Answers 2


They're pronounced exactly the same way because it's the exact same word. The usage of the letter "ё" from the very beginning of its existence (it was introduced in the late 18th century) was quite controversial and almost never obligatory.

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

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

  • 2
    Я не увидел ни единой слезы
    – Elena
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 17:11
  • @Elena that's singular and it mentioned in answer
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 17:12
  • @Elena, a namesake? Why does the site allow this phenomenon...
    – Elena
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 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
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 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
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 18:46

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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