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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%blackboard 
ə28.99%neutra
20.57%baby 
ɑ5.03%pajamas 
ɛ3.47%hair 
a2.75%cast 
ɪ1.92%orange 
ɔ1.63%chalk 
ɒ1.23%swa
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%painter 
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%scar
ə32.96%librar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%jaw 
b
b100.00%boat 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%carrot 
s22.81%bracelet 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%bench 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%stretcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%peach 
ci
ʃ80.00%politician 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%chicken 
d
d100.00%bod
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%bell 
ɪ22.88%detergent 
ə18.90%ove
i8.37%appreciate 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%beer 
ea
i66.67%tea 
ɛ28.46%hea
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%three 
eigh
100.00%eighteen 
er
ə39.34%painter 
əɹ31.97%temperature 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%teacher 
eu
ju100.00%neutral 
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%valley 
f
f100.00%frost 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%garden 
27.65%vegetable 
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%religion 
h
h100.00%hill 
i
ɪ74.61%violi
15.34%ivory 
i4.64%taxi 
ə3.88%cousi
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%ligh
ir
ɜ55.77%thirteen 
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%pajamas 
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%skirt 
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%glass 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%table 
ll
l100.00%smell 
m
m100.00%mouth 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%handbag 
ŋ3.52%monkey 
ng
ŋ100.00%laughing 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%moto
ɒ26.97%bolt 
əʊ16.92%ocean 
o6.88%saxophone 
ʌ5.85%colour 
ɔ5.28%fourteen 
ɑ5.11%stocking 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%boa
ɔ31.37%keyboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doe
oo
u64.12%roo
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%abortion 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mountain 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%window 
43.16%towel 
p
p100.00%pumpkin 
ph
f100.00%saxophone 
pp
p100.00%pepper 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%river 
r24.03%grip 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%during 
rr
ɹ100.00%ferr
s
s81.30%surgery 
z17.28%newspaper 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%sheep 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%tissue 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%appointment 
th
θ68.18%bath 
ð31.82%weather 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%butterfly 
tu
100.00%furniture 
u
ʌ48.46%brush 
ju19.51%computer 
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%prune 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%butcher 
ɪ1.44%biscuit 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%surgeon 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%valley 
w
w95.39%twelve 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%six 
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%security 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%cry 
j4.36%yacht 
z
z100.00%magazine 
zz
z100.00%puzzle