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%handle 
ə28.99%pasta 
20.57%wave 
ɑ5.03%glass 
ɛ3.47%carrot 
a2.75%cabbage 
ɪ1.92%mountain 
ɔ1.63%salt 
ɒ1.23%yacht 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%nai
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%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%chainsaw 
b
b100.00%bra 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%incongruous 
s22.81%danc
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%chainsaw 
k21.30%stomach 
ʃ20.00%kitchen 
t͡ʃ13.04%cheese 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%lick 
d
d100.00%handbag 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%kettle 
ɪ22.88%require 
ə18.90%seventy 
i8.37%geography 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%beer 
ea
i66.67%ea
ɛ28.46%pleasure 
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%fiftee
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%freezer 
əɹ31.97%temperature 
ɜ16.72%her
ɚ11.97%photographer 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%turkey 
f
f100.00%frost 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%sugar 
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%hill 
i
ɪ74.61%lick 
15.34%microwave 
i4.64%piano 
ə3.88%security 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%skir
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%judge 
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%lak
kn
n100.00%kneel 
l
l98.00%twelve 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%puzzle 
ll
l100.00%smell 
m
m100.00%perfum
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%foun
ŋ3.52%win
ng
ŋ100.00%stocking 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%saxophone 
ɒ26.97%bonnet 
əʊ16.92%ocean 
o6.88%crowbar 
ʌ5.85%glove 
ɔ5.28%fourteen 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%sho
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%spoo
ʊ33.59%foo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%forty 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mouse 
u13.67%voluptuou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%brough
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%window 
43.16%towel 
p
p100.00%hospital 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%appointment 
ps
s100.00%psychological 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%fruit 
r24.03%triangle 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%during 
rr
ɹ100.00%ferr
s
s81.30%soap 
z17.28%chees
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shoe 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%beautiful 
th
θ68.18%thunder 
ð31.82%mother-in-law 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%lettuce 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%clutch 
ju19.51%perfume 
ə13.04%pleasure 
u7.19%flute 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%push 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%turkey 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%cav
w
w95.39%twelve 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%sixty 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%directory 
ɪ15.58%bicycle 
10.59%butterfly 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%sneez
zz
z100.00%jazz