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English phonemes

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Other double consonants, such as '''ts''' and '''ps''', which are phonemes in some languages, also occur accidentally, as in '''géts''' and '''cŏrpse'''.
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Contents

The sounds and their spellings

A phoneme is a distinct unit of sound; spellings are ways of writing these sounds. English phonemes have different spellings depending on a word's provenance and history. This is a list of the phonemes, with their International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols, and all their spellings.

The pronunciations are those of the language's two main varieties: American English (AmE), where r is pronounced before a consonant, and British English (BrE), where it is not.

The áccents on bold example words indicate stressed vowels and their pronunciation. An equals sign shows homophones, with words in italics suggesting meaning: sêen saw = scêne scenic, drama, crime. The bullet (●) represents any consonant. An asterisk before a word indicates that it is a respelling to show pronunciation, and thus wrongly (*róngly) spelt.

Vowels and diphthongs

IPA /i:/ ê êa êe ê●e êi ìê aê oê ì ỳ êỳ êo

ê: bê mê récipê catástrophê Penélopê Lêthê hypërbolê mêthane sêrum dêvious mêdia rêtail dêmon Êly mêtre BrE distance, poem

êa: sêa water lêave hêat sêat bêat hit nêat êasy mêal drêam têam hêath

êe: sêe vision frêe trêe fêel whêel grêed fêed spêed bêet sugar êel rêel

ê●e: Pêter scêne êven fêver mêter all AmE, BrE machine only complête compête

êi: after c: percêive recêive recêipt (-êit) concêit concêive cêiling; after w: wêird wêir (but: wìêld); sêize Shêila Nêil Nêill O´Nêill

ìê: before v: belìêve relìêve grìêve

: stressed, from Greek (BrE; AmE has ê alone): Aêschylus encyclopaêdia; unstressed in Latin plurals: nébulae nôvae fŏrmulae

: BrE (BrE; AmE has ê alone) from Greek: Oêdipus amoêba foêtus oêstrogen oenólogy subpoêna

ì: from French: machìne Christìne magazìne nìche elìte

: normally unstressed: fúnny sílly crâzy lâzy êasy wítty dextérity Yvétte Yvónne; stressed: Lỳón Lỳse Mervỳna

êỳ: unstressed: nôsey pôsey láckey jóckey balôney álley Hàrvey

êo: pêople

IPA /ɪ/ í ý u o e ’ eí íe

í: sít fít sítter fítter fítting bít líd híd bíd stíll bíll Wílliam Bíll fíll línt tínt wríst pín tílt míddle ínch fíg bíg

ý: týpical sýnthesis sýnagogue sýmptom cýst mýstic mýth trýst Dýlan

u: business busy

o: women

e: unstressed: Jôneses Bíggses Báxes táxes cópses fléxes

: unstressed: Jônes’s Bíggs’s Báx’s

: unstressed -feít: còunterfeít fŏrfeít sürfeít

íe: unstressed: pàrtíes fámilíes lórríes cárríes cárríed márríed pólicíes

IPA /e/ é éa ai u

é: béd Néd wét sét pén hén méss dréss pép séven eléven Dévon Édward Téd bréd breed cléver éver évery néver tén ténth dén crést

éa: déath bréath bréast déad héad bréad food héaven thréat thréaten

ai: said (*séd)

u: bury ground (= bérry fruit)

IPA /æ/ á

fát cát sát mát Ánthony ánt bág dágger fán pán áttic spásm cáttle brásh ásh

redundant i in: pláit

redundant e in Gáelic Scotland = Gállic France (cf. Gâelic Ireland)

This sound is never final.

American English uses a long version of á instead of BrE à, except in fàther Coloràdo Chicàgo pajàmas (BrE pyjàmas) càlm quàlm bàlm àlms or when an r follows.

IPA /ɑ/ à àr àl ó

Words with à in both British and American English are:

à: fàther Chicàgo Coloràdo AmE pajàmas BrE pyjàmas Tuvàlu and Baràck Obàma, where, however, some BrE speakers instead say bárrack army

al: (silent l) càlm bàlm quàlm àlms

and whenever an r (always heard in AmE, silent final or before a consonant in BrE) follows:

àr: màr bàr càr vàrnish pàrk màrvel stàr scàr bizàrre hàrm àrm fàr càrt fàrmer scàr pàrt màrk stàrch pàrch màrch hàrd gàrden làrge

The following are pronounced à in southern BrE (most with á in northern BrE), a long á in AmE:

ā: Irān Irāq cān’t grānt āfter crāft lāugh grāph āunt dānce

before s: pāst fāst cāstle māster clāss ghāstly nāsty grāss lāst plāster cāst pāss tāsk blāst āsk

before th: rāther pāth bāth rāther lāther

āl: with silent l: hālf cālf hālve

ó in AmE is pronounced à, as in the next section:

IPA /ɒ/ ó

BrE only: AmE replaces this sound with à.

(Thus AmE pronounces the first words of Lós Ángeles and Làs Vègas the same: this is confusing for BrE speakers, who are as likely to say Lás Vègas, like láss girl, or, perhaps more commonly, "Lós Vègas", like the BrE lóss lose.)

ó: hót gót spót bóther dóg dóll nót stóp lóst óften slób slóppy cróss nód ódd shóne óff tóffee

ough as -óff: cóugh tróugh

a after : ẁant ẁas ẁash ẁasp ẁarren ẁander ẁarrant

after ẁh: ẁhat

after sẁ: sẁap sẁan sẁab sẁamp

after : qùantity qùantum qùad qùash sqùash sqùad sqùabble

IPA /ɔ/ å åw åu åugh ŏr ŏre ŏrps ŏor ŏa ŏur ŏugh

The r is silent in BrE before a consonant, but sounded in AmE.

å: wåter ålso

before lk: chålk tålk stålk wålk bålk

before ll: åll fåll tåll båll

before lt: ålter fålter Wålter hålt althôugh

åw: såw see, tool åwful bråwl cråwl fåwn colour, deer, grovel bråwn clåw påw animal swårm wårm wårn wård jåw Shåw måw

åu: cåuse påuse fåult exhåust fåun god

åugh: cåught tåught åught nåughty Wåugh

ŏr: ŏr either fŏr nŏr cóndŏr fŏrt pŏrt sŏrt shŏrt whŏrl

ŏre: ŏre metal cŏre centre gŏre pŏre skin scŏre sŏre pain bŏre tedium, hole ignŏre deplŏre restŏre whŏre (h-) mŏre extra

ŏrps: cŏrps army

ŏor: dŏor pŏor broke, unfortunate flŏor bŏor rude mŏor land

ŏa: brŏad abrŏad

ŏar: ŏar boat bŏar animal sŏar fly

ŏur: fŏur pŏur mŏurn tŏurnament

ŏugh: fŏught bŏught sŏught brŏught

IPA /ʊ/ ù oò oùl où o

ù: pùt fùll pùsh bùsh bùll pùll cùshion

: goòd woòd soòt foòt woòl

oùl: shoùld coùld woùld

: poùffe

o: woman wolf

IPA /(j)u:/ û ûe û●e ûi oû oûgh oô eŵ ŵ o

The long û grapheme repesents two phonemes, /u:/ and /ju:/, with various distributions on either side of the Atlantic. For a full discussion of this, see the article on the letter U.

û: gnû Stû flû ill gùrû êmû pûny Mûnich jûry Trûdi dûbious rûling mûtiny nûtrient

ûe: flûe chimney trûe blûe colour glûe cûe drama, billiards queûe wait (*kyû)

û•e: Jûne jûte flûte tûne dûpe Drûse trûth Rûth fûneral

ûi: frûit jûice slûice crûise

: groûp soûp coûp hit

oûgh: throûgh

: shoô soôn foôd broôd foôl schoôl toôl moôn troôp loôp droôp loôse choôse groôvy loôt toô also, much coô bird

: neŵ neŵs vieŵ cheŵ revieŵ Jeŵ bleŵ blow

ŵ: unstressed in Rŵánda

ŵo: tŵo 2

o: do who (*hû) shoe lose move prove to particle

IPA /ʌ/ ú oú ò òo

In uneducated speech in northern England, this sound does not exist, being replaced by /ʊ/.

ú: nút cúp slút túck spún fún dúst rúst búst sún múck súck dúck BrE cúrrent

: doúble troúble soúthern; (-úff) toúgh enoúgh roúgh

ò after w: wònder wòn win BrE wòrry

before n: frònt dòne nòne òne 1 (invisible w-: = wòn)

before -ve: lòve shòve glòve dòve

before -ther: òther anòther mòther bròther smòther (cf. bóther)

òo: before d: flòod blòod

IPA /ɜ:/ ër ëar ïr ür ÿr ör öur

Schwa lengthened, always with -r (silent in BrE)

ër: wëre përson vërve vërdant sërvant jërk fërn hërd tërn bird

ëar: hëard lëarn yëarn hëarse rehëarse ëarl pëarl dëarth

ïr: fïrst bïrd dïrt gïrl quïrk ïrk stïr whïrr dïrt shïrt skïrt flïrt cïrcus cïrcle cïrcuit bïrth gïrth fïrm fïr

ür: bürn türn round absürd chürch Türk fürtive blürt spürt hürt nürse AmE cürrent

ÿr: mÿrtle mÿrrh Bÿrd

ör: only after w: wörk wörse wörst wörm wörd AmE wörry

öur: in -jöurn- and cöurt-: jöurney jöurnal adjöurn cöurteous cöurtesy

IPA /ə/, the schwa sound

An example of schwa (*shwà) is the neutral grunt which begins the word abòut (*əbòut). A shorter version of /ɜ/, never stressed, it can be spelt a, e, o or, less often, u, with or without a following r (which is silent in BrE if not followed by another vowel). It also appears as y in Béryl, Síbyl and síbyllîne - and it can be invisible before r and l.

First syllable: agô ahéad abòut again (-é-) abòve upón and in names beginning Mac- such as MacNêill - or McNêill (invisible version)

Second syllable: ígnorance pébble doùble Chîna sêater víctor bürsar quérulous lêmur fêmur vísion nâtion (-sion and -tion always have schwa) Cânaan (double a) dógs’re (informal use of apostrophe)

Third syllable: ígnorance decîder Éxeter Pámela precürsor exémplar ridículous invâsion

Fourth syllable: América Tanzanìa exécutor cálculator álligator unbelìêver abnegâtion

Fifth syllable: preváricator prevaricâtion extërminator

Invisible before liquid sounds r and l: cãre (which rhymes with prâyer) lãir (which is a one-syllable version of lâyer) ŏil (which rhymes with lŏyal) whîle (*wîyəl) fâil (*fâyəl) sêal (*sêeyəl) knêel down = Nêil, Nêill names (*nêeyəl)

IPA /eɪ/ â âi ây â●e âe âigh âu eâ èy èi èigh è●e

In Yorkshire dialect this is pronounced as a pure /e/.

â: grâvy pâcy grâcious nâval navy nâvy ânal zâny stâble crâving bâgel potâto râzor BrE vâpour AmE vâpor

â●e: sâme gâme câme sâve bâse trâce pâce crâve lâser hâver râve nâvel stomach Jâmes hâzel pâge nâme tâme fâme flâme hâte gâte fâte lâte wâde câve brâve stâge grâde phâse time, moon = fâze confuse jâde fâde brâke speed lâne road bâne mâne horse gâte open hâte loathe

âi before l: nâil âil quâil fâil wâil tâil tâilor Tâylor before n: pâin stâin grâin trâin brâin drâin lâin lie detâin retâin remâin Câin mâin chief Mâine

before m: âim clâim mâim clâim âid mâid râid wâif mâize Crâig Hâig Hâigh (= Hâgue) gâit walk trâit trâitor

ây final: dây sây plây jây delây wây trây brây hây prây prayer slây kill

before -er: lâyer slâyer (but not prãyer)

âe: Gâelic Ireland Ísrâel mâelstrom phâeton

âigh: strâight Hâight Ashbury

âu: gâuge

: greât breâk pieces, off

èy: thèy grèy Lèyton whèy fèy prèy on

èi: vèin vèil bèige rèin ride

èigh final: invèigh nèigh slèigh snow

before t: wèight frèight èight

è●e: crèpe

IPA /əʊ/ ô ôa ôe ô•e ôu ôugh ôw ew

In Yorkshire dialect this is pronounced as a pure /o/.

ô with Latin-style suffixes: hôkum fôcus hôcus-pôcus

plus y, etc.: pôny hôly Tôny dôzy rôly-pôly nôsey bôgey phôney (or phony) Jôdie Jôni BrE côsy AmE côzy

final: therefore not gô frô lô behold cô-

before -ld: ôld côld gôld hôld sôld

also: grôss pôll vote

ôh: ôh dôh sôh music

ôa: before t: gôat côat ôat stôat bôat flôat

before k: clôak ôak

before d: gôad tôad rôad

before f: ôaf lôaf

before m: rôam wander (= Rôme) glôam

ôe final: tôe dôe Côe fôe hôe Jôe Pôe rôe wôe Defôe flôe ice

ô●e: hôme vôte nôte bôde explôde nôde tône lône cône pôle wood jôke dôze Rôme city rôte routine = wrôte write nôse expôse brôke spôke brôken spôken tôken

plus r: ôver Dôver clôver grôcer

: sôul

oûgh: dôugh bread althôugh thôugh

ôw: sôw seed knôw knowledge slôw grôw bestôw flôw water Ôwen môw lôw down crôw thrôw glôw

ew: sew needle

IPA /aɪ/ î îe î●e îgh îg ŷ ŷ●e ŷe eî

î: Î me greeting crîsis Îsis Chrîst fîery wîry shîny tîny lîme sublîme

unstressed: álibî nûclêî fránchîse mërchandîse

îe final: vîe lîe dîe dead tîe

î●e: îce nîce tîme fîne lîne slîme twîce lîce rîpe swîpe smîle stîle field

îgh: final: hîgh up sîgh nîgh

before t: tîght frîght brîght nîght plîght sîght

îg before n: sîgn resîgn desîgn

in place names: Caîro Thaîland Dubaî Sînaî

ŷ: flŷ bŷ whŷ trŷ rhŷme spŷ drŷ sprŷ relŷ denŷ defŷ stŷ pig, eye

from -îe before -íng: vŷing lŷing dŷing tŷing (from vîe lîe dîe tîe, cf. trŷing crŷing)

ŷ●ê: tŷpe stŷle mode

ŷe: stŷe eye eŷe sight aŷe yes dŷe colour

: heîght Fáhrenheît seîsmic O’Reîlly feîsty BrE eîther BrE neîther

IPA /aʊ/ òu òugh òw

òu: òut fòul bad blòuse tròusers clòud thòu clòut pròud wòund wind gròund mòunt mòuntain jòust fòund dòubt (*dòut)

òugh final: bòugh tree slòugh swamp = Slòugh town BrE plòugh

òw final: hòw nòw còw vòw wòw bòw down sòw pig AmE plòw

before n: bròwn tòwn dòwn fròwn cròwn dròwn renòwn

before l: fòwl bird òwl tròwel dòwry fròwsty

IPA /ɔɪ/ ŏi ŏy

ŏi before n: jŏin cŏin rejŏin lŏin

before l: fŏil bŏil tŏil

before ce: rejŏice vŏice

before st: clŏister hŏist jŏist

before t: quŏits BrE gŏitre AmE gŏiter

ŏy final: bŏy jŏy tŏy deplŏy Rŏy Trŏy destrŏy

before st: ŏyster lŏyal rŏyal

IPA /ɪə(r)/ êar êer êre ìêr êir

êar: êar hêar ear nêar têar cry fêar Pêarson drêary wêary blêary

êer: bêer quêer vêer lêer venêer êerie

êre: hêre there mêre revêre wê’re we are

ìêr: tìêr seats frontìêr piêrce

êir: wêird wêir water

IPA /eə(r)/ ãre ãir ãyr ãyer éãr ére

ãre: fãre money, food spãre shãre pãre cut bãre nude cãre wãres goods stãre look

ãr: before y: wãry vãry scãry Mãry

before i: vâriable shãring

ãir: final: ãir breathe hãir fãir reasonable, funfair lãir stãir step flãir

before y: fãiry hãiry

ãyr: Ãyrshire

ãyer: prãyer

éãr: béãr animal, tolerate, carry téãr rip wéãr clothes péãr fruit

ére: whére place thére here ére before

IPA /(j)ʊə(r)/ ûre ûr eûr eŵr

This sound could just as well be shown as ùr, but the u is clearly cognate with other final-mute-e words such as Jûne.

ûre: pûre cûre abjûre lûre

ûr: dûring dûrable cûrable pûrest fûry fûrious jûror jûry court Ûrals Arctûrus Epicûrus mûral

eûr: neûron neurótic Eûrope

eŵr: Jeŵry Jew Neŵry

IPA /aɪə(r)/ îr îar îer îre ŷr ŷre

îr: fîry wîry îrony Mîra Hîram choîr

îre: fîre wîre desîre mîre spîre îre irâte

îar: lîar lie brîar

îer: fîery

ŷr before a: gŷrate Mŷra tŷrant

before o: gŷroscope pyromânia pyrotéchnic tŷro

ŷre: lŷre music pŷre

Consonants

IPA /p/ p pp

p: píll pùt pâper hôped cláp píp stóp úp soûp droôp wêep peêp híp

pp: pépper stópped hópped clápping rípper ápple rípple púppy cópper

IPA /b/ b bb

b: bŏy bâke bîcycle bâsin mób bàrber snób snúb húsband róbin bíscuit bénd bāth ablâze âble troúble mâybe ôbôe

bb: rúbber ríbbon ábbey ébb róbber dúbbed rábbit Bóbby búbble

IPA /t/ t tt bt pt ed th

t: tín tén toô trâin tót trîte tríp tâste déft bít hát côat bôat àrt tàrt flïrt átmosphere

tt: bétter létter cáttle bóttle ráttle bétting sétting kéttle néttle cátty bátty tátty Bétty pótty atténtion

ed, inflexion of past tense verbs after unvoiced consonants: āsked slípped hôped áxed hélped chānced kícked stópped lócked cáshed míxed âped grôssed

bt: dòubt débt súbtle

pt: recêipt ptàrmigan Ptómely pterodáctyl

th: Kathmandû Ánthony (= Ántony, a less common variant, as in Mark Antony)

IPA /d/ d dd

d: dím dénse dîce dúll rêad nêed stéady réady héad réd Êden lâden rámmed fílled (ed not 't' after voiced sound, compare above)

dd: rúdder ádder ládder rúdder kídding ríddance Éddie dóddle gíddy

IPA /k/ k ck c cc ch cq q g kk

k: kíll Kenneth boòk loòk dàrk mêek pêak àrk Noah ínk thínk ránk

ck, not initial: báck néck síck déck píck wíck wícked máckintosh féckless réckless gécko décker bus = Décker name tick correct

c before back vowels a, o and u (and also in encephalîtis): cát animal cán còme câter cút cárry cãre crâter crâne curve cómmon cót confûse cóntrary contémporary, and finally: àrc plástic tíc twitch

cc pronounced 'k' alone: sóccer accrûe occür áccolade, and pronounced 'ks': áccident áccess accêde cóccyx

ch: láchrymose chŏrd âche écho páchydërm

cq: acquîre acquâint acquiésce

q: Sádiq Táriq Qátar qát drug

qu sounding like 'kw': quêen requîre quîet quîte quést exquísite líquid

qu as 'k' sound alone: líquor (*líkker) unìque (-êek) Jácqueline (*Jácklêen or = Jácklín)

g (for some speakers): léngth

kk: púkka Dékker name

IPA /g/ g gg

g: dóg gún bíg ángle fínger dângle ôgle pâgan flágon drágon bôgus

gg: égg bígger nóggin dágger dígging flágging nágged bógged flógged

IPA /tʃ/ ch tch

ch: choôse cheêse beêch tree = bêach sand chóp cheêr lúnch châse

final after r: lürch përch àrch màrch Màrch

tch: ítch ítchy fétch pátch ẁatch dítch wítch scótch kétchup nótch

initial only in a few imported names: Tchaikóvsky Tchicaî

IPA /dʒ/ j dj g dg gg

j: Jâne jélly Jáck jôke Jóhn Jônes Jím James jërsey jejeûne jàr ajàr jêep ajàr Jûlie Julŷ môjo cajôle rejéct jíngle jángle jîbe

dj: adjúst adjöurn ádjective ádjúnct Djiboûti Abidján

g before e: géntle âge râge gênius gërm Gërmany pígeon dúngeon stürgeon Nigêria genétic géneral géntle págeant

before i: gîant gínger giráffe gímcrack

before y: gyrâte gŷroscope gým gymnasium gýpsum

dg before e: brídge édge hédge bádger bádge búdge fúdge cúdgel dódge Hódges lódger fídget mídget dúdgeon búdgerigar

before i: cádging lódging búdgie

before y: pódgy dódgy édgy púdgy

gg: exággerate

di: sôldier

du: ŏrdure

IPA /f/ f ff ph gh ft

f: fêel frŷ frêe fróg fâke fâith óften déaf fít íf fŏrce fåll

ff: óff éffort búffer óffal clíff stíff búff púff

ph: Phílip gráph phâse élephant philósopher hîeroglýph

gh: after ou: toúgh enoúgh roúgh cóugh tróugh

ft: óften sóften

IPA /v/ v vv f ph

v: vieŵ véry vãry shâve háve drîve vâgue vôte vâcant vîolent Stêven vāst vãrious avër còver hóver ôver léaven lêave wêave

vv: flívver révved bóvver

f: óf

ph: Stêphen

IPA /θ/ unvoiced th

thíck thín trûth Rûth rûthless bréath ûndernêath thínk píthy ísthmus bôth lôth or lôath bréath wrêath déath

IPA /ð/ voiced th dh

th: thén thére thís thát thús thôugh thêrefore òther bròther mòther wíth brêathe wrêathe lôathe clôthe BrE eîther AmE êither wéather clouds = whéther if

dh: Rìyadh

IPA /s/ s ss sc st c ps

s: sêe såw sêen sôap séven séptic sêrial drama sŏurce spécial ûse noun ûsage āsk flāsk tāsk bāsk désk whísk dúsk

ss: máss lóss drôss grôss méssy véssel hássle guéss dréss kíss híss

sc scêne scéptre coalésce acquiésce

st: whístle lísten grístle mústn’t hâsten hústle bústle fāsten cāstle

c before front vowels: nîce îce fâce cêreal breakfast spâcy lícit âce

ps: pseûd psychólogy psŷche

IPA /z/ z zz s

z: zoô zône zíp hâzel prétzel ôzone ádze dôze AmE côzy râzor

zz: búzz fízz dázzle púzzle núzzle jázz whízz búzzer

s: ûse verb êasy nôse nâsal lâser BrE côsy pôsy pôse lâser

IPA /ʃ/ sh ss sch s ch ce ci ti xi

sh: shíp shóp shoôt shín shîne blúsh mésh dísh ẁash ásh áshen fáshion shéd shélter

ss: before i: pássion físsion míssion

before u: assůre préssure

sch: schwà schnápps schmåltz

s: AmE sûre insûre BrE sůre insůre

Si from Welsh and Irish: Siàn Siobhăn *Shivăwn

Se from Irish: Seăn (= Shăwn, Shăun)

ch from French: machìne nîche pastîche BrE moustàche AmE mústáche gauche (ô) brôchure créche panáche Míchigan

ce: ôcean crustâcean

ci: spêcies spêcious précious vícious

ti: fíction áction nôtion devôtion môtion lôtion complêtion fictítious

xi includes an initial 'k' sound: nóxious (*nókshəss) ánxious (*ánkshəss)

IPA /ʒ/ zh zu si su g

Th 'zh' sound, as spelt when romanising from Russian, etc., it is however, not normally spelt thus. In French it is common and rendered with a j:

j: joie de vivre *zhwàdvìvrə le mot juste *ləmô-zhûst

zh: Brézhnev Solzhenýtzin Yoûzhny

zu: ázure sêizure

si: vísion télevision cohêsion lêsion Âsian

su in -sure: pléasure tréasure AmE lêisure BrE léisure clôsure

g from French: Nigér

IPA /h/ h wh

h: hélp hít heáven héll hàrbour hôme hórror hórrible hôpe ahéad ahŏy àhà Mahôney enhānce Hárris Hámpstead háppen hápless

wh: who (*hû) whôle whoôping-cóugh

IPA /m/ m mm mb mn

m: múch môst Mîchael (*Mŷcle) émpty mén míx glámour ámber ámble whím dímple crúmple crúmble húmble ámber ámplify woman (*wùmən) women (*wímən) mémory

mm: hámmer dímmer glímmer jámming swímming swímmer símmer púmmel búmmer súmmer

mb final: thúmb cômb dúmb lámb clîmb tomb (*toôm) plúmb

mn final: åutumn hýmn cólumn

IPA /n/ n nn kn pn

n: negative neŵ old nót negative nîght day nêed require néver níl énemy ánt nâtive nôbody nô-one noôn noôdle nûisance nést nâve church

nn: Ánn Ánne dínner ínnings pénny ínner púnning wínner fúnnel túnnel

kn: knôw knowledge kneŵ know knót tie knîght chess, Sir knêad dough knêe knâve jack

pn: pneumátic pneumônia

IPA /ŋ/ ng n

The ng sound cannot begin a syllable (except in transcriptions of e.g. Vietnamese names) and so is not found initially, only medially and finally: thíng síng sáng súng sínger hánger coat hángar plane wíng spríng lóng

the g sound added afterwards: lónger fínger ánger húnger ángle síngle dángle Bángra

n before k: thínk pínk ínk wínk sínk sánk súnk púnk tánk dánk tánker pínker ánkle wínkle tínkle

before c: úncle càrbuncle ráncour sánction júnction

before x: ánxious

IPA /l/ l ll

l: lôw lót lénd fâil pâil bucket pâle pallid Pôle Poland = pôle wood pál låw lîght (*lîte) léss râil râiling âiling tâilor = Tâylor trâil

ll: bùll bùlly wåll åll téll dóll pôll election séll buy = céll prison, biology wíll wílling hóller tåller álley allót álloy

IPA /r/ r rr rh wr

r: rêad réd colour réad reading réady rót rãre rôads streets rāther rîce ríddle rôdeo rôad rêcent ràther

rr: árrow fúrrow farràgo sórrow sórry mérry shérry whérry bérry hérring Mórris érror pórridge Hárry fürry BrE wòrry AmE wörry

rh: rhŷme rhýthm rhétoric rhêsus Rhôdes name, Greece rhôdedéndron

wr: wrîte wrén wrêak wrŏught wrést fight wréstle wrínkle awrŷ

AmE pronounces r before a consonant and finally in words like àrm, hürt and ŏrder; BrE does not.

Sometimes a phantom final 'r' can be heard between two vowels, one ending, the other beginning, a word: Índia(r)and Srì Lánka

IPA /j/ y

y: yéllow yoúng yét yoûth yôke ox yôlk egg låwyer såwyer

invisible before û: ûse tûne beaûtiful mûte mûsic cûte cûticle ukelèlê

IPA /w/ w wh u h

w: wéll woòd wísh awây wònder wíll wéather sunny ẁant ẁash aẁash wâve wãry wòrry (AmE wörry) ẁaddle ẁander wónky

wh (pronounced 'hw' in AmE): ẁhat whén whére whŷ whénce whéther if whíp whístle whîte

u after q: quêen quîte quîet quést quáck quíck equéstrian acquîre quâint equíp qùarry qùadrupéd qùantum qùantity qùality

from Spanish: Nicarágua (-ágwa or -ágyûa) iguàna marijuàna (*mariyəwànə)

h in two Hebraic names: Côhen Ménuhin

ou from French, initial in Ouagadoûgou (Wág-)

IPA /χ/ kh ch

distinguished by some speakers from /k/:

kh: shèikh Khàlid Khayyám

ch: lóch Bàch Búchan Buchánan

IPA /ks/ x xc ks kes cks cs ches chs

The grapheme x combines the phonemes /k/ and /s/. This is /gz/ for some AmE speakers in some words, for example exáct.

x: láx tóxic Níxon wáx wáxen óx óxen píxie táxi bóx bóxes míx séx áxle Téxas México hôax extrême Tríxie Díxie fáx máximum Báxter

xc: éxcellent excél excépt excéss

chs: in names from German: Óchs (= óx) Fùchs

Accidental in plurals:

ks: bàrks loòks hoòks spoôks tålks wålks boòks sêeks fôlksy

kes: tâkes sâkes bâkes câkes jôkes lîkes êkes nûkes blôkes

cks: sócks pícks trícks pécks knócks búcks tícks marks

cs: àrcs tícs nervous

ches: âches héadaches

Other double consonants, such as ts and ps, which are phonemes in some languages, also occur accidentally, as in géts and cŏrpse.

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