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Phonetic symbols table

This table shows the symbols used in phonetic transcription. With the phonetic symbols, you can read and write the sounds of the English language.

The IPA column of the table gives phonetic symbols in the IPA alphabet. The ASCII column gives symbols in the ASCII phonetic alphabet. The examples column gives words which use the phonetic sound. The sound is heard where the underline is. The Amer link lets you listen to the words in American English. If a sound is pronounced differently in British English, there is also a Brit link.

IPA ASCII examples listen
ʌ ^ cup, luck Amer
ɑ: a: arm, father Amer / Brit
æ @ cat, black Amer
e e met, bed Amer
ə .. away, cinema Amer
ɜ:ʳ e:(r) turn, learn Amer / Brit
ɪ i hit, sitting Amer
i: i: see, heat Amer
ɒ o hot, rock Amer / Brit
ɔ: o: call, four Amer / Brit
ʊ u put, could Amer
u: u: blue, food Amer
ai five, eye Amer
au now, out Amer
ei say, eight Amer
Ou go, home Amer
ɔɪ oi boy, join Amer
eəʳ e..(r) where, air Amer / Brit
ɪəʳ i..(r) near, here Amer / Brit
ʊəʳ u..(r) pure, tourist Amer / Brit
IPA ASCII examples listen
b b bad, lab Amer
d d did, lady Amer
f f find, if Amer
g g give, flag Amer
h h how, hello Amer
j j yes, yellow Amer
k k cat, back Amer
l l leg, little Amer
m m man, lemon Amer
n n no, ten Amer
ŋ N sing, finger Amer
p p pet, map Amer
r r red, try Amer
s s sun, miss Amer
ʃ S she, crash Amer
t t tea, getting Amer
tS check, church Amer
θ th think, both Amer
ð TH this, mother Amer
v v voice, five Amer
w w wet, window Amer
z z zoo, lazy Amer
ʒ Z pleasure, vision Amer
dZ just, large Amer
special symbols
IPA ASCII what it means
ˈ '

' is placed before the stressed syllable in a word. For example, ['kon tr@kt] is pronounced like this, and [k..n 'tr@kt] like that.

ʳ (r)

[ka:(r)] means [ka:r] in American English, and [ka:] in British English.

i i(:)

i(:) means something between i: and i. Examples: very ['veri(:)], ability [.. 'biliti(:)], previous ['pri:vi(:)..s].

əl .l

.l shows that the consonant l is pronounced as a syllable (it sounds like a vowel). Examples: little ['lit.l], uncle ['^Nk.l].

ən .n

.n shows that the consonant n is pronounced as a syllable. Examples: written ['rit.n], listen ['lis.n].