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%nappy 
ə28.99%photographer 
20.57%wave 
ɑ5.03%bra 
ɛ3.47%carrot 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%mountain 
ɔ1.63%chalk 
ɒ1.23%swa
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%nai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%architect 
ə32.96%dictionar
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%crib 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%doctor 
s22.81%cereal 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%bench 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%chef 
t͡ʃ13.04%cheese 
ci
ʃ80.00%musician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%lick 
d
d100.00%bed 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%belt 
ɪ22.88%television 
ə18.90%kitche
i8.37%geography 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%beer 
ea
i66.67%teacher 
ɛ28.46%pleasure 
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%coffee 
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%pepper 
əɹ31.97%lawyer 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%valley 
f
f100.00%refrigerator 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%frog 
27.65%engineer 
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%religion 
h
h100.00%hose 
i
ɪ74.61%gri
15.34%writing 
i4.64%helicopter 
ə3.88%pupi
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%lightning 
ir
ɜ55.77%thirty 
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%jacket 
d͡ʒ12.38%juice 
k
k100.00%drink 
kn
n100.00%kneel 
l
l98.00%balcony 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%file 
ll
l100.00%bell 
m
m100.00%musician 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%continen
ŋ3.52%pin
ng
ŋ100.00%tongue 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%petro
ɒ26.97%ho
əʊ16.92%home 
o6.88%potato 
ʌ5.85%grandmother 
ɔ5.28%oil 
ɑ5.11%stocking 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%goa
ɔ31.37%dashboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%bathroo
ʊ33.59%boo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%for
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%accountant 
u13.67%voluptuou
ʌ11.51%touch 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%enough 
oul
ʊ100.00%coul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%snow 
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%helicopter 
ph
f100.00%saxophone 
pp
p100.00%appreciate 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%grandfather 
r24.03%stretcher 
ə3.31%flour 
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%mirror 
s
s81.30%stairs 
z17.28%music 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shake 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%tissue 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%tap 
th
θ68.18%thumb 
ð31.82%father 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%furniture 
u
ʌ48.46%bu
ju19.51%tissu
ə13.04%pleasure 
u7.19%flute 
5.44%during 
ʊ4.93%incongruous 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%nurse 
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%level 
w
w95.39%word 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%tax
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%geography 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%butterfly 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%sneez
zz
z100.00%jazz