Dessert vs Desert – Pronounce these words CORRECTLY(Audio)

Dessert vs Desert

Has the pronunciation of dessert and desert ever been difficult for you? I have been teaching English to non-native speakers since 2006 and I have spent a lot of time helping students with their pronunciation. This post was made with my experience to give you some helpful tips on the correct pronunciation of these words. Soon you will sound just like a native speaker!

dessert dih-ZURRT (ZURRT is a stronger sound) AUDIO link
“After dinner can we have ice cream for dessert?”
desert DEH-zirt (DEH is a stronger sound) AUDIO link
“My student used to live in California and he often went to the Mojave desert with his family.”

Example Sentence AUDIO

Keep reading for audio and video support with lots of REAL example sentences that you can start using in your own conversations right away.

Dessert and Desert English pronunciation

Pronunciation is a language skill that is not easy to get from a textbook. Listening to and repeating natural English is the best way. As a teacher and a native English speaker (Canadian), I NEVER use the standard pronunciation symbols.

I don’t think it’s fair to ask my students to learn ANOTHER new alphabet to help their pronunciation!

I only use letters from the regular English alphabet to create sounds that match the sound of any new words. I can connect the sounds with words that students have heard before. I will introduce you to and help you use this simple method in today’s pronunciation post.

dessert vs desert


dessert is a noun that means – sweet food eaten at the end of a meal

  • “I shouldn’t eat any more dinner. I want to save room for dessert.”

The word dessert has two syllables. A syllable is a unit of sound that makes parts of a word.

The first syllable is DIH – the second syllable is ZURRT – sounds like the verb HURT (The second syllable makes a stronger sound than the first. dih・ZURRT)

A trick to remember the spelling.
The word dessert has two S’s. A dessert is Something Sweet. SS.

Dessert vs Desert spelling TIP"


desert is a noun that means – a large area of land that has very little water and very few plants growing on it. Many deserts are covered by sand.

  • “The African country Somalia is mostly desert.”

The word desert has two syllables. 

The first syllable is DEH – the second syllable is ZIRT – sounds like the noun SKIRT(The first syllable makes a stronger sound than the second. DEH・zirt)

Grammarly catches your spelling errors when you make a mistake!

Dessert and Desert sentence examples

Remember that two S’s (dessert) is for sweet food. SS = so sweet

  • “Let’s be healthy and have fruit for dessert tonight.”
  • “I’m on a diet, no dessert for me tonight.” 


  • “They set up large solar panels in the middle of the desert.”
  • “The United Arab Emirates is so hot they are paying scientists to make it rain in the desert.”
dessert vs desert examples

Desert or Dessert
Pronunciation – Helpful TIP

The good news is that the context of your sentence will help you be understood, even if your pronunciation is strange.

Desert is an area of land and Dessert is something you eat. It will be clear from your sentence which word you are trying to say.

If you said, “After dinner can we have ice cream for desert?” (DEH-zirt)  I know what you mean, even if your pronunciation is incorrect. We don’t eat deserts so I can understand what you want to say.

Watch this quick YouTube #Short

Looks great on your smartphone!

Do you want to talk like a native speaker? Improve pronunciation by understanding syllables. Read my blog post Easily Pronounce long English words (1 Simple trick)

More Advanced Examples with Desert and Dessert

Desert – Advanced sentences

  • The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world, covering a vast area in Africa.
  • Despite the harsh conditions, there are some plants and animals that have adapted to survive in the desert, such as the cactus and the camel.
  • The desert landscape is often characterized by sand dunes, rocky terrain, and extreme temperatures, with scorching heat during the day and chilly nights.
  • People who go hiking or trekking in the desert must carry plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing to protect themselves from dehydration and sunburn.
  • Many desert regions are known for their stunning natural beauty, offering breathtaking sunsets, clear starry skies, and unique geological formations.

Dessert – Advanced sentences

  • I like to share my dessert with my friends at school. We sit together and enjoy our sweet treats.
  • I have a weakness for chocolate desserts, especially rich and velvety chocolate mousse or gooey chocolate brownies.
  • One of the most famous French desserts is crème brûlée, which has a creamy custard base topped with a caramelized sugar crust.
  • Some people prefer lighter desserts like fruit tarts or sorbets, which can be refreshing and less heavy on the stomach compared to rich, creamy desserts.
Dessert vs Desert infographic

DESERT as a verb

The verb DESERT has the same as spelling the noun DESERT but the pronunciation is like the noun DESSERT- (dih・ZURRT)

DESERT verb meaning 1) to leave somebody without help or support

“He was deserted by his friends.” (dih・ZURR・TID)

2) to go away from a place and leave it empty

“The town was deserted after the hurricane. No one lived there anymore.” (dih・ZURR・TID) More at: Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Desert – VERB – Advanced sentences

  • The soldier decided to desert his post and run away from the battlefield.
  • Mike was upset with his friends for deserting him during a group project, leaving him to do all the work alone.
  • When the storm hit, people quickly deserted the beach and sought shelter from the strong winds and rain.
  • Despite the challenges, the team remained loyal to their coach and did not desert him during the difficult times.
desert as a verb
When the storm hit, people quickly deserted the beach and sought shelter from the strong winds and rain.


Did this post help you? Tell me in the comments what your favorite dessert is. (I love donuts!) Have you ever been to the desert? (I have never been.) I have made a list of some of my other English pronunciation blog posts to help you improve your English speaking skills.

Check out my newest posts below

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