Speaking in Academic Contexts

Pronunciation

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 - e.g. Gimson (1981) - used to represent all the English sounds (British English).

SymbolExample

/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

/h/

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

 

Exercises

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