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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%hand 
ə28.99%vitamin 
20.57%plate 
ɑ5.03%bathroom 
ɛ3.47%hair 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%chocolate 
ɔ1.63%chalk 
ɒ1.23%dishwasher 
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%rai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%har
ə32.96%dictionar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%abnormal 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%cave 
s22.81%cereal 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%touch 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%chef 
t͡ʃ13.04%cheese 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%blackboard 
d
d100.00%spider 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%question 
ɪ22.88%enough 
ə18.90%seve
i8.37%regional 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%zero 
ea
i66.67%rea
ɛ28.46%brea
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%called 
ee
i100.00%shee
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%sister 
əɹ31.97%hammer 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%photographer 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%valley 
f
f100.00%four 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%plug 
27.65%pag
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%harp 
i
ɪ74.61%turning 
15.34%bicycle 
i4.64%serious 
ə3.88%penci
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%lightning 
ir
ɜ55.77%bir
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%jeans 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%key 
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%luxury 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%file 
ll
l100.00%swallow 
m
m100.00%mother-in-law 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%incongruous 
ŋ3.52%monkey 
ng
ŋ100.00%lightning 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%alcohol 
ɒ26.97%incongruous 
əʊ16.92%home 
o6.88%crowbar 
ʌ5.85%mother-in-law 
ɔ5.28%point 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%sho
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%goa
ɔ31.37%keyboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%balloo
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%for
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mouth 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%touch 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%coul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%serious 
ow
əʊ56.84%elbow 
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%harp 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%appointment 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%color 
r24.03%trainer 
ə3.31%flour 
əɹ3.20%temperatur
rr
ɹ100.00%ferr
s
s81.30%des
z17.28%ears 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%shower 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%class 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%stretcher 
th
θ68.18%thought 
ð31.82%grandfather 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%gutter 
tu
100.00%furniture 
u
ʌ48.46%uncle 
ju19.51%usually 
ə13.04%luxury 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%push 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%church 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%seven 
w
w95.39%work 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%saxophone 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%geography 
ɪ15.58%bicycle 
10.59%psychiatrist 
j4.36%yacht 
z
z100.00%freezer 
zz
z100.00%jazz