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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%stand 
ə28.99%canoe 
20.57%page 
ɑ5.03%garage 
ɛ3.47%hair 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%chocolate 
ɔ1.63%walk 
ɒ1.23%yacht 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%rai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%architect 
ə32.96%lizar
ɔ4.81%war
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%jaw 
b
b100.00%butcher 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%dictionary 
s22.81%ceiling 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%teacher 
k21.30%stomach 
ʃ20.00%stretcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%peach 
ci
ʃ80.00%musician 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%duck 
d
d100.00%model 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%level 
ɪ22.88%security 
ə18.90%ove
i8.37%ceiling 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%deer 
ea
i66.67%ea
ɛ28.46%pleasure 
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%cheese 
eigh
100.00%eighty 
er
ə39.34%newspaper 
əɹ31.97%refrigerator 
ɜ16.72%perfume 
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%neutral 
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%monkey 
f
f100.00%fine 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%garage 
27.65%pag
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%charg
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%hose 
i
ɪ74.61%river 
15.34%ti
i4.64%taxi 
ə3.88%security 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%ligh
ir
ɜ55.77%shir
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%banj
d͡ʒ12.38%juice 
k
k100.00%kitchen 
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%butterfl
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%puzzle 
ll
l100.00%usuall
m
m100.00%mouse 
mm
m100.00%hammer 
n
n96.48%enough 
ŋ3.52%drin
ng
ŋ100.00%stocking 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%alcohol 
ɒ26.97%chocolate 
əʊ16.92%radio 
o6.88%sofa 
ʌ5.85%color 
ɔ5.28%helicopter 
ɑ5.11%photographer 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%throa
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%goose 
ʊ33.59%boo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%forty 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%mountain 
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%touch 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%enough 
oul
ʊ100.00%woul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%serious 
ow
əʊ56.84%pillow 
43.16%cow 
p
p100.00%pull 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%pepper 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%zer
r24.03%br
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%ferr
s
s81.30%psychiatris
z17.28%jeans 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%usually 
sh
ʃ100.00%sheep 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%dress 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%question 
th
θ68.18%thirty 
ð31.82%mother-in-law 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%butter 
tu
100.00%furniture 
u
ʌ48.46%cupboard 
ju19.51%tissu
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%pull 
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%wind 
ʊ4.61%rainbow 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%saxophone 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%nappy 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%why 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%magazine 
zz
z100.00%jazz