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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%jacket 
ə28.99%psychiatrist 
20.57%elevator 
ɑ5.03%banana 
ɛ3.47%carrot 
a2.75%cast 
ɪ1.92%chocolate 
ɔ1.63%wall 
ɒ1.23%yacht 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%plai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%ar
ə32.96%lizar
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%bab
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%clutch 
s22.81%bicycle 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%chair 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%butcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%chest 
ci
ʃ80.00%politician 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%chicken 
d
d100.00%grandfather 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%architect 
ɪ22.88%television 
ə18.90%lavender 
i8.37%geography 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%deer 
ea
i66.67%rea
ɛ28.46%brea
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%eighty 
er
ə39.34%lavender 
əɹ31.97%refrigerator 
ɜ16.72%deser
ɚ11.97%photographer 
eu
ju100.00%neutral 
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%monkey 
f
f100.00%ferry 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%shrug 
27.65%garag
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%charg
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%herb 
i
ɪ74.61%kitchen 
15.34%rice 
i4.64%magazine 
ə3.88%penci
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%bir
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%judge 
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%shak
kn
n100.00%knee 
l
l98.00%sailor 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%bicycle 
ll
l100.00%hill 
m
m100.00%enem
mm
m100.00%drummer 
n
n96.48%turn 
ŋ3.52%uncle 
ng
ŋ100.00%triangle 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%alcohol 
ɒ26.97%broccoli 
əʊ16.92%shoulder 
o6.88%potato 
ʌ5.85%glove 
ɔ5.28%helicopter 
ɑ5.11%stocking 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%dashboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%balloo
ʊ33.59%boo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%stormy 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%shou
u13.67%incongruou
ʌ11.51%touch 
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%elbow 
43.16%shower 
p
p100.00%point 
ph
f100.00%saxophone 
pp
p100.00%pepper 
ps
s100.00%psychological 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%petrol 
r24.03%microwave 
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%taste 
z17.28%newspaper 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shake 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%class 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%street 
th
θ68.18%math
ð31.82%mother 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%bottom 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%puzzle 
ju19.51%uniform 
ə13.04%luxury 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%during 
ʊ4.93%butcher 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%church 
ɜr7.14%blur 
v
v100.00%ivory 
w
w95.39%wink 
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%beauty 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%psychological 
j4.36%yellow 
z
z100.00%razor 
zz
z100.00%puzzle