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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%sla
ə28.99%abandon 
20.57%potato 
ɑ5.03%class 
ɛ3.47%tomato 
a2.75%ladder 
ɪ1.92%bandage 
ɔ1.63%chalk 
ɒ1.23%swa
ʌ0.54%wasn't 
ai
100.00%painter 
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%jaw 
b
b100.00%crib 
bb
b100.00%cabbage 
c
k77.19%cliff 
s22.81%danc
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%chalk 
k21.30%school 
ʃ20.00%butcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%cherry 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%species 
ck
k100.00%back 
d
d100.00%drink 
dd
d100.00%addition 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%elbow 
ɪ22.88%decision 
ə18.90%seve
i8.37%regional 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%deer 
ea
i66.67%pea 
ɛ28.46%brea
ɪ2.44%ears 
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%abandoned 
ee
i100.00%slee
eigh
100.00%eighteen 
er
ə39.34%ladder 
əɹ31.97%refrigerator 
ɜ16.72%her
ɚ11.97%hunter 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%valley 
f
f100.00%foot 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%grape 
27.65%spong
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%religion 
h
h100.00%hold 
i
ɪ74.61%hospital 
15.34%rice 
i4.64%radi
ə3.88%anxious 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%thirty 
ə44.23%chair 
j
87.62%pajamas 
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%lak
kn
n100.00%kneel 
l
l98.00%neutral 
ɫ1.39%silver 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%file 
ll
l100.00%balloon 
m
m100.00%motor 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%window 
ŋ3.52%uncle 
ng
ŋ100.00%writing 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%commission 
ɒ26.97%fro
əʊ16.92%cold 
o6.88%piano 
ʌ5.85%monkey 
ɔ5.28%fourteen 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%throa
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%boo
ʊ33.59%boo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%hor
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%shou
u13.67%sou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%brough
ʌf30.77%enough 
oul
ʊ100.00%coul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%colour 
ous
əs100.00%famous 
ow
əʊ56.84%yellow 
43.16%shower 
p
p100.00%tap 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%napp
ps
s100.00%psychological 
qu
kw77.65%question 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%regional 
r24.03%rope 
ə3.31%flour 
əɹ3.20%temperatur
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%seventeen 
z17.28%cousin 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shrug 
sion
ʒən72.00%television 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%class 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%television 
th
θ68.18%thigh 
ð31.82%father 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%gutter 
tu
100.00%temperature 
u
ʌ48.46%uncle 
ju19.51%used 
ə13.04%pressure 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%during 
ʊ4.93%push 
ɪ1.44%biscuit 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%purple 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%microwav
w
w95.39%dishwasher 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%tax
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%cherry 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%why 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%freezer 
zz
z100.00%jazz