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%ha
ə28.99%pajama
20.57%appreciate 
ɑ5.03%grandfather 
ɛ3.47%chair 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%bandage 
ɔ1.63%wall 
ɒ1.23%swallow 
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%rai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%crowbar 
ə32.96%mustar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%chainsaw 
b
b100.00%blue 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%crib 
s22.81%necklac
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%chalk 
k21.30%psychiatrist 
ʃ20.00%watch 
t͡ʃ13.04%church 
ci
ʃ80.00%musician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%necklace 
d
d100.00%duck 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%appointment 
ɪ22.88%refrigerator 
ə18.90%tunne
i8.37%ceiling 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%zero 
ea
i66.67%ea
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%called 
ee
i100.00%thirtee
eigh
100.00%eighteen 
er
ə39.34%lavender 
əɹ31.97%silver 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%hunter 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%keyboard 
f
f100.00%five 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%garden 
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%hold 
i
ɪ74.61%sister 
15.34%island 
i4.64%helicopter 
ə3.88%pupi
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%skir
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%judge 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%shak
kn
n100.00%knee 
l
l98.00%lamp 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%file 
ll
l100.00%smell 
m
m100.00%mask 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%honey 
ŋ3.52%blanket 
ng
ŋ100.00%stocking 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%lemo
ɒ26.97%no
əʊ16.92%soldier 
o6.88%motorcycle 
ʌ5.85%stomach 
ɔ5.28%fourteen 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%throa
ɔ31.37%dashboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%spoo
ʊ33.59%foo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%snoring 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%clou
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
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%bow
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%sponge 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%appointment 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%orange 
r24.03%frog 
ə3.31%requir
əɹ3.20%temperatur
rr
ɹ100.00%cherr
s
s81.30%species 
z17.28%musician 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%push 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%class 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%thirt
th
θ68.18%tooth 
ð31.82%mother 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%butterfly 
tu
100.00%furniture 
u
ʌ48.46%plumber 
ju19.51%pupil 
ə13.04%luxury 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%during 
ʊ4.93%pull 
ɪ1.44%lettuce 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%curtain 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%elevator 
w
w95.39%wheel 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%saxophone 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%thirty 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%psychiatrist 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%lizard 
zz
z100.00%jazz