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P (letter)

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P, p is a letter of the Latin alphabet. It is the sixteenth letter of most variants, being placed after O and before Q, as is the case for instance in the English alphabet. Its English name is pronounced [ˈpiː], like the vegetable pea.

Use in English

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

p is a bilabial stop, an unvoiced b (compare pén and Bén), a popping sound with the lips in the same position as m (as in mén): póp, pâper, plûral, pêople, pét, pépper, pénsion, ápt, flípped, câper, apàrt, stoôp, recoûp, groûp, bürp, hàrp, stóp, cóp, rôpe, hŷpe, tŷpe.

  • The accents show stress and pronunciation (see English spellings): A: sát, mâde, pàrk, cāst (cást/càst), åll, ãir; E: ére, êar, vèin, fërn; I: sít, mîne, skì, bïrd; O: sóng, môde, lòve, wörd, ŏr; OO: moôn, foòt; U: sún, mûse, fùll, pürr; W: neŵ, ẁant; Y: gým, mŷ, keỳ, mÿrrh.

p begins consonant clusters: ápfelstrudel, plús, apnoêa, hypnôsis, hypnótic, présent, Épsom, ápt.

p is silent at the beginning of a word before n, s, t: pterodáctyl, pneumátic, pneumônia, pseûdonym, ptàrmigan, Ptólemy and in recêipt, which rhymes with decêit (cf. recéption -psh-). It is also silent in clápboard and coûp.

It doubles only in the middle, to shorten the preceding vowel: hópping (cf. hópped, hôped), flóppy (cf. flóp), snápped, háppy, háppen, náppy, rípper, cúpped, stépping, and after an initial vowel as in appŏrtion, appŏintment, apprôach, applŷ, opportûnity, úpper.

Usually, ph = f: Phílip, trôphy, phenómenon, grāph, apóstrophê, Philadélphia, phãraôh (-rô); but Stêphen = Stêven and in some eastern words such as Phnóm Pénh, Khmér, the h is silent, or, in slower speech, schwa, in English.

ph also begins clusters: Dáphnê (-fn-), aphrodísiac (-fr-).

Before p, n becomes m (with the exception of ínpùt): impŏrtant, cómpost, cf. -nf- in informâtion, confŏrm (which can be pronounced *ímformâtion, *comfŏrm - as can ínpùt *impùt, cf. impûte).

mp is pronounced as n in comptrôller (= contrôller).

Scientific uses

  • p: proton
  • p prefix: pico, 10-12
  • p- prefix: old chemical notation, para