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%blanket 
ə28.99%pajama
20.57%paper 
ɑ5.03%dance 
ɛ3.47%tomato 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%mountain 
ɔ1.63%called 
ɒ1.23%swallow 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%rainbow 
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%scar
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%ambulance 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%colour 
s22.81%danc
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%beach 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%butcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%church 
ci
ʃ80.00%politician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%jacket 
d
d100.00%idea 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%detective 
ɪ22.88%believe 
ə18.90%scalpe
i8.37%species 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%zero 
ea
i66.67%bea
ɛ28.46%weather 
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%abandoned 
ee
i100.00%seventee
eigh
100.00%eighty 
er
ə39.34%paper 
əɹ31.97%spider 
ɜ16.72%deser
ɚ11.97%hunter 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%valley 
f
f100.00%found 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%handbag 
27.65%vegetable 
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%hunter 
i
ɪ74.61%hospital 
15.34%nineteen 
i4.64%radi
ə3.88%anxious 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%lightning 
ir
ɜ55.77%shir
ə44.23%chair 
j
87.62%jeans 
d͡ʒ12.38%juice 
k
k100.00%rak
kn
n100.00%knee 
l
l98.00%kneel 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%table 
ll
l100.00%bell 
m
m100.00%bathroom 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%onion 
ŋ3.52%uncle 
ng
ŋ100.00%ring 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%colo
ɒ26.97%incongruous 
əʊ16.92%hose 
o6.88%saxophone 
ʌ5.85%brother 
ɔ5.28%point 
ɑ5.11%photographer 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%boa
ɔ31.37%keyboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%roo
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%forty 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mouth 
u13.67%incongruou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%enough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%swallow 
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%tap 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%pepper 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%broccoli 
r24.03%photographer 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%during 
rr
ɹ100.00%cherr
s
s81.30%pasta 
z17.28%newspaper 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%sheet 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%dress 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%cat 
th
θ68.18%mouth 
ð31.82%weather 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%butter 
ju19.51%tissu
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%prune 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%sugar 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%nurse 
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%vice 
w
w95.39%white 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%tax
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%sixty 
ɪ15.58%bicycle 
10.59%why 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%sneez
zz
z100.00%puzzle