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The Sounds of English

Below is a list of the common sounds of English and the letter groups used to represent these sounds. Letters and groups of letters may have different sounds, and this is shown along with their IPA symbols (International Phonetic Alphabet) and their frequency of occurrence.

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Spelling IPA Frequency Example
a
æ33.88%garage 
ə28.99%musicia
20.57%wave 
ɑ5.03%mask 
ɛ3.47%hair 
a2.75%cabbage 
ɪ1.92%chocolate 
ɔ1.63%walk 
ɒ1.23%swa
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%plai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%crowbar 
ə32.96%mustar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%beach 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%called 
s22.81%bicycle 
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%touch 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%chef 
t͡ʃ13.04%charge 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%kick 
d
d100.00%grandfather 
dd
d100.00%addition 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%pressure 
ɪ22.88%jacke
ə18.90%scalpe
i8.37%regional 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%beer 
ea
i66.67%reading 
ɛ28.46%hea
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%needle 
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%thunder 
əɹ31.97%butterfly 
ɜ16.72%perfume 
ɚ11.97%teacher 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%chimney 
f
f100.00%fence 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%garden 
27.65%surgeon 
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%religion 
h
h100.00%hair 
i
ɪ74.61%television 
15.34%spider 
i4.64%pedestrian 
ə3.88%security 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%skir
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%pajamas 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%lak
kn
n100.00%kneel 
l
l98.00%petrol 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%table 
ll
l100.00%pillow 
m
m100.00%mouth 
mm
m100.00%drummer 
n
n96.48%musician 
ŋ3.52%drin
ng
ŋ100.00%stocking 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%chocolate 
ɒ26.97%doctor 
əʊ16.92%note 
o6.88%groceries 
ʌ5.85%so
ɔ5.28%toilet 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doe
oo
u64.12%balloo
ʊ33.59%foo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%snoring 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%cloudy 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%brough
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%bow
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%plug 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%napp
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%crib 
r24.03%crimson 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%swallow 
z17.28%jeans 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%shop 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%class 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%hat 
th
θ68.18%three 
ð31.82%grandfather 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%lettuce 
tu
100.00%temperature 
u
ʌ48.46%hunter 
ju19.51%usually 
ə13.04%beautifu
u7.19%flute 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%incongruous 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%purple 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%shovel 
w
w95.39%woman 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%sixteen 
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%fifty 
ɪ15.58%boy 
10.59%psychological 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%lizard 
zz
z100.00%puzzle