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%calculator 
ə28.99%banana 
20.57%paper 
ɑ5.03%glass 
ɛ3.47%hair 
a2.75%cast 
ɪ1.92%cabbage 
ɔ1.63%walk 
ɒ1.23%dishwasher 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%nai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%car
ə32.96%librar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%sauce 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughter 
aw
ɔ100.00%lawyer 
b
b100.00%balcony 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%biscuit 
s22.81%pencil 
cc
k100.00%accountant 
ch
45.65%chocolate 
k21.30%psychological 
ʃ20.00%watch 
t͡ʃ13.04%which 
ci
ʃ80.00%musician 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%duck 
d
d100.00%found 
dd
d100.00%ladder 
don
dn̩100.00%abandoned 
e
ɛ43.75%egg 
ɪ22.88%bonne
ə18.90%lavender 
i8.37%appreciate 
e4.39%engineer 
ɪə1.70%zero 
ea
i66.67%reading 
ɛ28.46%pleasure 
ɪ2.44%dea
ɪə2.44%idea 
ear
ɜ32.50%early 
ɛə10.00%bear 
ɪə̯7.50%ear 
eau
ju100.00%beauty 
ed
d100.00%called 
ee
i100.00%chee
eigh
100.00%eigh
er
ə39.34%painter 
əɹ31.97%butcher 
ɜ16.72%detergent 
ɚ11.97%weather 
eu
ju100.00%feu
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%monkey 
f
f100.00%frost 
ff
f100.00%coffee 
g
ɡ62.93%guitar 
27.65%engineer 
ʒ4.48%hedg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%religion 
h
h100.00%hail 
i
ɪ74.61%chimney 
15.34%nine 
i4.64%radi
ə3.88%animal 
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%idea 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%lightning 
ir
ɜ55.77%thirteen 
ə44.23%hair 
j
87.62%jacket 
d͡ʒ12.38%jazz 
k
k100.00%kettle 
kn
n100.00%knife 
l
l98.00%luxury 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%cruel 
le
əl100.00%bicycle 
ll
l100.00%bell 
m
m100.00%smile 
mm
m100.00%commission 
n
n96.48%incongruous 
ŋ3.52%pin
ng
ŋ100.00%sing 
nn
n100.00%bonnet 
o
ə30.58%directory 
ɒ26.97%psychological 
əʊ16.92%radio 
o6.88%motorcycle 
ʌ5.85%sponge 
ɔ5.28%oil 
ɑ5.11%hospital 
u1.55%cano
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%goa
ɔ31.37%blackboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doesn't 
oo
u64.12%bathroo
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%stor
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%clou
u13.67%incongruou
ʌ11.51%cousin 
ɑʊ0.72%found 
ough
ɔ69.23%though
ʌf30.77%tough 
oul
ʊ100.00%coul
our
ɔɹ83.33%four 
əɹ16.67%favour 
ous
əs100.00%serious 
ow
əʊ56.84%snow 
43.16%towel 
p
p100.00%page 
ph
f100.00%geograph
pp
p100.00%appreciate 
ps
s100.00%psychiatrist 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%bridge 
r24.03%br
ə3.31%requir
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%sit 
z17.28%chees
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%dishwasher 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%pension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%pressure 
ssion
ʃən100.00%commission 
t
t100.00%potat
th
θ68.18%thought 
ð31.82%mother 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%butterfly 
tu
100.00%temperature 
u
ʌ48.46%conductor 
ju19.51%computer 
ə13.04%luxury 
u7.19%ruler 
5.44%during 
ʊ4.93%push 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%juice 
ur
ɜ92.86%surgeon 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%fiv
w
w95.39%dishwasher 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%wh
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%write 
x
ks84.92%sixteen 
ɡ11.90%exit 
3.17%anxious 
y
i69.47%baby 
ɪ15.58%boy 
10.59%psychological 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%magazine 
zz
z100.00%puzzle