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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%ca
ə28.99%magazine 
20.57%a 
ɑ5.03%mask 
ɛ3.47%hair 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%orange 
ɔ1.63%chalk 
ɒ1.23%dishwasher 
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%painter 
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%scar
ə32.96%dictionar
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%band 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%scarf 
s22.81%fac
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%chair 
k21.30%stomach 
ʃ20.00%watch 
t͡ʃ13.04%church 
ci
ʃ80.00%musician 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%neck 
d
d100.00%nod 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%pencil 
ɪ22.88%decision 
ə18.90%elevator 
i8.37%species 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%deer 
ea
i66.67%bea
ɛ28.46%hea
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%knee 
eigh
100.00%eighteen 
er
ə39.34%pepper 
əɹ31.97%grandmother 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%monkey 
f
f100.00%found 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%gate 
27.65%orang
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%honey 
i
ɪ74.61%swi
15.34%ivory 
i4.64%broccoli 
ə3.88%security 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%thirty 
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%banj
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%lak
kn
n100.00%kneel 
l
l98.00%sal
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%table 
ll
l100.00%balloon 
m
m100.00%chimney 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%candy 
ŋ3.52%uncle 
ng
ŋ100.00%laughing 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%computer 
ɒ26.97%geography 
əʊ16.92%robe 
o6.88%groceries 
ʌ5.85%monkey 
ɔ5.28%fourteen 
ɑ5.11%stocking 
u1.55%sho
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%roo
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%unifor
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mouth 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%touch 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%brough
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%yellow 
43.16%shower 
p
p100.00%pajamas 
ph
f100.00%saxophone 
pp
p100.00%appreciate 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%quite 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%three 
r24.03%microwave 
ə3.31%flour 
əɹ3.20%during 
rr
ɹ100.00%ferr
s
s81.30%saxophone 
z17.28%wasn't 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%push 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%foot 
th
θ68.18%thunder 
ð31.82%brother 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%temperature 
u
ʌ48.46%plu
ju19.51%tissu
ə13.04%beautifu
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%incongruous 
ɪ1.44%biscuit 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%nurse 
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%believ
w
w95.39%whale 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%ax
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%eighty 
ɪ15.58%boy 
10.59%psychological 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%razor 
zz
z100.00%jazz