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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%black 
ə28.99%addition 
20.57%elevator 
ɑ5.03%mask 
ɛ3.47%airplane 
a2.75%cast 
ɪ1.92%cabbage 
ɔ1.63%wall 
ɒ1.23%swa
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%drai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%car
ə32.96%sugar 
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%jaw 
b
b100.00%brought 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%doctor 
s22.81%fenc
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%beach 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%butcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%charge 
ci
ʃ80.00%musician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%jacket 
d
d100.00%dance 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%energy 
ɪ22.88%bucke
ə18.90%enemy 
i8.37%species 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%cereal 
ea
i66.67%reading 
ɛ28.46%weather 
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%abandoned 
ee
i100.00%shee
eigh
100.00%eighty 
er
ə39.34%stretcher 
əɹ31.97%father 
ɜ16.72%perfume 
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%neutral 
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%chimney 
f
f100.00%fog 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%pig 
27.65%bandag
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%heard 
i
ɪ74.61%si
15.34%ninety 
i4.64%piano 
ə3.88%penci
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%ligh
ir
ɜ55.77%thirty 
ə44.23%chair 
j
87.62%jeans 
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%cheek 
kn
n100.00%knee 
l
l98.00%cliff 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%uncle 
ll
l100.00%valley 
m
m100.00%plum 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%jean
ŋ3.52%uncle 
ng
ŋ100.00%finger 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%commission 
ɒ26.97%continent 
əʊ16.92%pole 
o6.88%coconut 
ʌ5.85%color 
ɔ5.28%door 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%goa
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%goose 
ʊ33.59%foo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%forty 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mouse 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%touch 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%serious 
ow
əʊ56.84%bow
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%pupil 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%apple 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%brought 
r24.03%rabbit 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%temperatur
rr
ɹ100.00%mirror 
s
s81.30%scissors 
z17.28%transport 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shout 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%class 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%thought 
th
θ68.18%bathroom 
ð31.82%father 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%lettuce 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%clutch 
ju19.51%tissu
ə13.04%luxury 
u7.19%flute 
5.44%during 
ʊ4.93%push 
ɪ1.44%lettuce 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%furniture 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%microwav
w
w95.39%twelve 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%sixteen 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%twenty 
ɪ15.58%bicycle 
10.59%psychiatrist 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%freezer 
zz
z100.00%puzzle