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%banana 
20.57%face 
ɑ5.03%class 
ɛ3.47%tomato 
a2.75%handkerchief 
ɪ1.92%chocolate 
ɔ1.63%talk 
ɒ1.23%yacht 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%chainsaw 
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%charge 
ə32.96%lizar
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%biscuit 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%directory 
s22.81%ceiling 
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%chocolate 
k21.30%choir 
ʃ20.00%stretcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%peach 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%blackboard 
d
d100.00%would 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%elbow 
ɪ22.88%decision 
ə18.90%peninsula 
i8.37%regional 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%zero 
ea
i66.67%screa
ɛ28.46%hea
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%called 
ee
i100.00%needle 
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%ladder 
əɹ31.97%ruler 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%photographer 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%keyboard 
f
f100.00%fog 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%groceries 
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%hail 
i
ɪ74.61%politician 
15.34%nineteen 
i4.64%pedestrian 
ə3.88%anxious 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%ligh
ir
ɜ55.77%thirteen 
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%jeans 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%rak
kn
n100.00%kneel 
l
l98.00%pencil 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%file 
ll
l100.00%pull 
m
m100.00%plum 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%dance 
ŋ3.52%blanket 
ng
ŋ100.00%writing 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%pilo
ɒ26.97%cough 
əʊ16.92%nose 
o6.88%sofa 
ʌ5.85%sponge 
ɔ5.28%toilet 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%goa
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doe
oo
u64.12%goose 
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%for
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mouth 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%brough
ʌf30.77%enough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%yellow 
43.16%cow 
p
p100.00%grap
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%pepper 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%liquor 
r24.03%reading 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%during 
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%scarf 
z17.28%crimson 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%ship 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%hunter 
th
θ68.18%mouth 
ð31.82%father 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%gutter 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%lung 
ju19.51%tissu
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%pull 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%nurse 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%river 
w
w95.39%microwave 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%ax
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%energy 
ɪ15.58%boy 
10.59%butterfly 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%magazine 
zz
z100.00%jazz