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%fa
ə28.99%stomach 
20.57%gra
ɑ5.03%bra 
ɛ3.47%tomato 
a2.75%handkerchief 
ɪ1.92%orange 
ɔ1.63%wall 
ɒ1.23%dishwasher 
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%nai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%har
ə32.96%sugar 
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%chainsaw 
b
b100.00%bus 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%continent 
s22.81%ceiling 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%chocolate 
k21.30%choir 
ʃ20.00%butcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%church 
ci
ʃ80.00%politician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%truck 
d
d100.00%grandfather 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%pencil 
ɪ22.88%refrigerator 
ə18.90%continent 
i8.37%geography 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%beer 
ea
i66.67%jeans 
ɛ28.46%weather 
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%thirtee
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%freezer 
əɹ31.97%spider 
ɜ16.72%her
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%neutral 
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%keyboard 
f
f100.00%fence 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%gutter 
27.65%engineer 
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%herb 
i
ɪ74.61%sixty 
15.34%file 
i4.64%serious 
ə3.88%anxious 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%lightning 
ir
ɜ55.77%shir
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%jacket 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%book 
kn
n100.00%knee 
l
l98.00%animal 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%file 
ll
l100.00%pull 
m
m100.00%man 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%woman 
ŋ3.52%drin
ng
ŋ100.00%reading 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%onio
ɒ26.97%broccoli 
əʊ16.92%nose 
o6.88%sofa 
ʌ5.85%shovel 
ɔ5.28%floor 
ɑ5.11%stocking 
u1.55%sho
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%boa
ɔ31.37%dashboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doe
oo
u64.12%tooth 
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%for
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mountain 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%swallow 
43.16%towel 
p
p100.00%piece 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%napp
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%transport 
r24.03%pressure 
ə3.31%requir
əɹ3.20%temperatur
rr
ɹ100.00%mirror 
s
s81.30%storm 
z17.28%doesn't 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%shirt 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%chest 
th
θ68.18%bathroom 
ð31.82%grandfather 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%clutch 
ju19.51%music 
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%flute 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%usually 
ɪ1.44%biscuit 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%purple 
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%glov
w
w95.39%ward 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%sixty 
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%security 
ɪ15.58%boy 
10.59%psychiatrist 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%lizard 
zz
z100.00%puzzle