Speaking Pronunciation

Speaking in Academic Contexts


English sounds

Pronunciation Chart


As you know, the relationship between English spelling and English pronunciation is not very clear. English dictionaries, therefore, need another way to show the pronunciation of English words. Most dictionaries use a variation of the characters proposed by the IPA – International Phonetic Association – to show English pronunciation. It is useful to learn this to enable you to make the best use of the information that is given in your dictionary.

Here are the common symbols (Gimson, 1981) used to represent all the English sounds (British English).

Symbol Example
/p/ pea
/b/ bee
/t/ tea
/d/ do
/k/ key
/g/ go
/f/ fat
/v/ vat
/θ/ thin
/ð/ that
/s/ sip
/z/ zip
/ʃ/ ship
/ʒ/ measure
/h/ hat
/m/ map
/n/ nap
/ŋ/ hang
/l/ led
/r/ red
/w/ wet
/j/ yet
/ʧ/ chin
/ʤ/ gin


/ɪ/ pit
/e/ pet
/æ/ pat
/ʌ/ cut
/ɒ/ pot
/ʊ/ put
/ə/ potato, upper
/i:/ key
/ɑ:/ car
/ɔ:/ law
/u:/ shoe
/ɜ:/ girl
/eɪ/ bay
/aɪ/ by
/ɔɪ/ boy
/əʊ/ so
/ɑʊ/ now
/ɪə/ here
/ɛə/ there
/ʊə/ tour


Try these exercises: Exercise 1, Exercise 2, Exercise 3

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