Sounds (IPA)

The sounds of English

This table is based on the ones in English File. Notice that many sounds are in pairs, short and long, unvoiced and voiced. (To get the HTML codes, see below)

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    short         long
ɪ - fish ɪ: - tree æ - cat ɑ: - car
ɒ - clock ɔ: - horse ʊ - bull u: - boot
ə - computer ɜ: - bird e - egg ʌ - up


- train əʊ - phone - bike - owl
ɔɪ - boy ɪə: - ear - chair ʊə - tour


    unvoiced         voiced
p - parrot b - bag k - key g - girl
f - flower v - vase t - tie d - dog
s - snake z - zoo ʃ - shower ʒ - television
θ - thumb ð - mother ʧ - chess ʤ - jazz
l - laugh r - ring w - water j - yacht
m - monkey n - nose ŋ - singer h - house

Hear words pronounced

The best free online text-to-speech program I've found seems to be Ivona - it's quick and can do up to 250 characters. It coped well with 'antidisestablishmentarianism' (which Google Translate messes up completely). It also has an incredible selection of voices, and the ones I've heard are pretty natural sounding. I recommend Amy as the most natural and not too fast.


HTML codes - you can get the HTML codes for the IPA symbols by mousing over the relevant box. Where no number is given, use standard letters. To use the number, precede it with an ampersand plus the # sign, and follow it with a semi-colon. So the code for the shwa for instance looks like this: ə