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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%banjo 
ə28.99%usually 
20.57%baby 
ɑ5.03%garage 
ɛ3.47%airplane 
a2.75%cabbage 
ɪ1.92%mountain 
ɔ1.63%called 
ɒ1.23%dishwasher 
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%chainsaw 
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%architect 
ə32.96%mustar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%chainsaw 
b
b100.00%bird 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%directory 
s22.81%decision 
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%teacher 
k21.30%psychological 
ʃ20.00%chef 
t͡ʃ13.04%cheese 
ci
ʃ80.00%politician 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%stocking 
d
d100.00%daughter 
dd
d100.00%addition 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%chest 
ɪ22.88%chicke
ə18.90%kitche
i8.37%geography 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%deer 
ea
i66.67%bea
ɛ28.46%pleasure 
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%hear
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beautiful 
ed
d100.00%used 
ee
i100.00%bee 
eigh
100.00%eighty 
er
ə39.34%lavender 
əɹ31.97%helicopter 
ɜ16.72%her
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%honey 
f
f100.00%fence 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%grape 
27.65%cabbag
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%charg
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%regional 
h
h100.00%handkerchief 
i
ɪ74.61%stocking 
15.34%fine 
i4.64%serious 
ə3.88%anxious 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%piece 
igh
100.00%ligh
ir
ɜ55.77%gir
ə44.23%chair 
j
87.62%banj
d͡ʒ12.38%jaw 
k
k100.00%key 
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%girl 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%kettle 
ll
l100.00%balloon 
m
m100.00%mission 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%peninsula 
ŋ3.52%monkey 
ng
ŋ100.00%string 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%voluptuous 
ɒ26.97%fro
əʊ16.92%banjo 
o6.88%crowbar 
ʌ5.85%mother 
ɔ5.28%oil 
ɑ5.11%photographer 
u1.55%sho
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%toaster 
ɔ31.37%keyboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%schoo
ʊ33.59%boo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%unifor
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%accountant 
u13.67%voluptuou
ʌ11.51%touch 
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%pillow 
43.16%brow
p
p100.00%spoon 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%napp
ps
s100.00%psychological 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%cream 
r24.03%laundr
ə3.31%furnitur
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%sponge 
z17.28%stairs 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shoulder 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%hot 
th
θ68.18%thirty 
ð31.82%father 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%butter 
tu
100.00%voluptuous 
u
ʌ48.46%butter 
ju19.51%issu
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%sugar 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%crue
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%furniture 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%twelv
w
w95.39%whale 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%ax
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%security 
ɪ15.58%bicycle 
10.59%cry 
j4.36%yacht 
z
z100.00%razor 
zz
z100.00%puzzle