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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%abandon 
ə28.99%vitamin 
20.57%shake 
ɑ5.03%garage 
ɛ3.47%stairs 
a2.75%cabbage 
ɪ1.92%mountain 
ɔ1.63%chalk 
ɒ1.23%watch 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%trainer 
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%charge 
ə32.96%librar
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%broccoli 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%scalpel 
s22.81%decision 
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%chimney 
k21.30%stomach 
ʃ20.00%chef 
t͡ʃ13.04%cherry 
ci
ʃ80.00%politician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%chicken 
d
d100.00%duck 
dd
d100.00%addition 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%twenty 
ɪ22.88%decision 
ə18.90%pedestrian 
i8.37%species 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%zero 
ea
i66.67%pea 
ɛ28.46%pleasure 
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%called 
ee
i100.00%knee 
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%sister 
əɹ31.97%butter 
ɜ16.72%her
ɚ11.97%teacher 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%honey 
f
f100.00%fine 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%pig 
27.65%orang
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%handbag 
i
ɪ74.61%musi
15.34%fine 
i4.64%helicopter 
ə3.88%security 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%thirty 
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%pajamas 
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%lak
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%toilet 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%uncle 
ll
l100.00%swallow 
m
m100.00%plumber 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%ten 
ŋ3.52%sin
ng
ŋ100.00%turning 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%colo
ɒ26.97%bolt 
əʊ16.92%nose 
o6.88%coconut 
ʌ5.85%onion 
ɔ5.28%door 
ɑ5.11%photographer 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%dashboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%too
ʊ33.59%boo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%shorts 
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%coul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%serious 
ow
əʊ56.84%window 
43.16%towel 
p
p100.00%politician 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%appointment 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%drink 
r24.03%reading 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%during 
rr
ɹ100.00%mirror 
s
s81.30%cas
z17.28%doesn't 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%sheep 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%conductor 
th
θ68.18%mouth 
ð31.82%grandmother 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%temperature 
u
ʌ48.46%butter 
ju19.51%issu
ə13.04%luxury 
u7.19%flute 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%usually 
ɪ1.44%lettuce 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%purple 
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%stov
w
w95.39%window 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%six 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%usually 
ɪ15.58%bicycle 
10.59%butterfly 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%sneez
zz
z100.00%jazz