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%land 
ə28.99%addition 
20.57%snake 
ɑ5.03%dance 
ɛ3.47%stairs 
a2.75%cast 
ɪ1.92%cabbage 
ɔ1.63%talk 
ɒ1.23%swallow 
ʌ0.54%appointment 
ai
100.00%rai
al
100.00%social 
ar
ɑ62.22%car 
ə32.96%lizar
ɔ4.81%wardrobe 
au
ɔ97.92%laundry 
a2.08%laugh 
augh
ɔ77.78%daughter 
ɑf22.22%laughing 
aw
ɔ100.00%chainsaw 
b
b100.00%bathroom 
bb
b100.00%rabbit 
c
k77.19%cry 
s22.81%danc
cc
k100.00%broccoli 
ch
45.65%chair 
k21.30%psychiatrist 
ʃ20.00%butcher 
t͡ʃ13.04%chest 
ci
ʃ80.00%social 
ʃi20.00%appreciate 
ck
k100.00%blackboard 
d
d100.00%laundry 
dd
d100.00%addition 
don
dn̩100.00%abandon 
e
ɛ43.75%dress 
ɪ22.88%exactly 
ə18.90%continent 
i8.37%ceiling 
e4.39%helicopter 
ɪə1.70%beer 
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%beauty 
ed
d100.00%called 
ee
i100.00%stree
eigh
100.00%eighty 
er
ə39.34%gutter 
əɹ31.97%butcher 
ɜ16.72%perfume 
ɚ11.97%hunter 
eu
ju100.00%neutral 
ew
ju100.00%newspaper 
ey
i100.00%monkey 
f
f100.00%flour 
ff
f100.00%cliff 
g
ɡ62.93%goose 
27.65%pag
ʒ4.48%judg
d͡ʒ4.19%energ
g0.75%grandmother 
gg
ɡ100.00%egg 
gh
f100.00%laugh 
gion
dʒən100.00%religion 
h
h100.00%hospital 
i
ɪ74.61%rabbi
15.34%quite 
i4.64%pedestrian 
ə3.88%penci
j0.76%onion 
ʌɪ0.76%require 
ie
i100.00%believe 
igh
100.00%thigh 
ir
ɜ55.77%thirteen 
ə44.23%stair
j
87.62%banj
d͡ʒ12.38%juice 
k
k100.00%mask 
kn
n100.00%knee 
l
l98.00%twelve 
ɫ1.39%beautiful 
əl0.60%real 
le
əl100.00%uncle 
ll
l100.00%pull 
m
m100.00%trumpet 
mm
m100.00%drummer 
n
n96.48%peninsula 
ŋ3.52%blanket 
ng
ŋ100.00%singer 
nn
n100.00%tunnel 
o
ə30.58%lemo
ɒ26.97%do
əʊ16.92%hose 
o6.88%potato 
ʌ5.85%mother-in-law 
ɔ5.28%oil 
ɑ5.11%photographer 
u1.55%sho
ʊ0.86%woman 
oa
əʊ49.02%goa
ɔ31.37%dashboard 
19.61%soa
oe
ʌ100.00%doe
oo
u64.12%foo
ʊ33.59%loo
ʌ2.29%floo
or
ɔ91.63%stormy 
ɜ8.37%wor
ou
74.10%shou
u13.67%incongruou
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%swallow 
43.16%shower 
p
p100.00%puzzle 
ph
f100.00%photographer 
pp
p100.00%napp
ps
s100.00%psychological 
qu
kw77.65%require 
k22.35%liquor 
r
ɹ69.46%psychiatrist 
r24.03%reading 
ə3.31%flour 
əɹ3.20%security 
rr
ɹ100.00%carrot 
s
s81.30%storm 
z17.28%doesn't 
ʃ0.74%sugar 
ʒ0.69%pleasure 
sh
ʃ100.00%shrug 
sion
ʒən72.00%decision 
ʃən28.00%tension 
ss
s98.17%glass 
ʃ1.83%issue 
ssion
ʃən100.00%mission 
t
t100.00%eighteen 
th
θ68.18%throat 
ð31.82%mother-in-law 
tion
ʃən97.69%dictionary 
ʃn̩2.31%addition 
tt
t100.00%gutter 
tu
100.00%temperature 
u
ʌ48.46%lung 
ju19.51%music 
ə13.04%beautifu
u7.19%prune 
5.44%security 
ʊ4.93%sugar 
ɪ1.44%guitar 
ue
u100.00%blue 
ui
u100.00%frui
ur
ɜ92.86%turkey 
ɜr7.14%turning 
v
v100.00%shovel 
w
w95.39%wall 
ʊ4.61%crowbar 
wh
ʍ84.62%when 
hw15.38%which 
wr
ɹ100.00%writing 
x
ks84.92%saxophone 
ɡ11.90%exactly 
3.17%luxury 
y
i69.47%balcony 
ɪ15.58%seventy 
10.59%why 
j4.36%lawyer 
z
z100.00%razor 
zz
z100.00%puzzle