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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%ant 
ə28.99%addition 
20.57%cake 
ɑ5.03%pasta 
ɛ3.47%tomato 
a2.75%cast 
ɪ1.92%mountain 
ɔ1.63%wall 
ɒ1.23%swa
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%nai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%charge 
ə32.96%lizar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%jaw 
b
b100.00%bandage 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%cold 
s22.81%fac
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%chainsaw 
k21.30%psychiatrist 
ʃ20.00%stretcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%chest 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%blackboard 
d
d100.00%drill 
dd
d100.00%addition 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%medicine 
ɪ22.88%exactly 
ə18.90%surgeon 
i8.37%species 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%beer 
ea
i66.67%bea
ɛ28.46%hea
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%called 
ee
i100.00%gree
eigh
100.00%eighty 
er
ə39.34%gutter 
əɹ31.97%hammer 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%hunter 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%valley 
f
f100.00%frost 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%goat 
27.65%cabbag
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%home 
i
ɪ74.61%psychiatrist 
15.34%wine 
i4.64%pianist 
ə3.88%pupi
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%lightning 
ir
ɜ55.77%skir
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%jeans 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%pumpkin 
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%soldier 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%bicycle 
ll
l100.00%hill 
m
m100.00%mouse 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%appointmen
ŋ3.52%uncle 
ng
ŋ100.00%lightning 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%crimso
ɒ26.97%no
əʊ16.92%rope 
o6.88%saxophone 
ʌ5.85%mother-in-law 
ɔ5.28%helicopter 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%keyboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%roo
ʊ33.59%foo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%forty 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%shou
u13.67%incongruou
ʌ11.51%touch 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%coul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%yellow 
43.16%shower 
p
p100.00%point 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%apple 
ps
s100.00%psychological 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%roof 
r24.03%triangle 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%temperatur
rr
ɹ100.00%cherr
s
s81.30%mous
z17.28%ears 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%fish 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%tissue 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%appointment 
th
θ68.18%bath 
ð31.82%mother-in-law 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%furniture 
u
ʌ48.46%plu
ju19.51%musician 
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%flute 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%push 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%tur
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%ivory 
w
w95.39%wall 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%sixteen 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%directory 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%butterfly 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%zero 
zz
z100.00%puzzle