Listen to English Sounds

ID-10041787 headphonesunionjackListen to all 44 phonemes (sounds) of English represented by their International Phonetic Alphabet IPA symbol.

You can find vowels in one table and consonants in another. Just click on the link to reveal our MP3 audio file.

Underneath each IPA symbol is an example of the sound within an English word. The spellings within the examples represent only one of the many spelling possibilities for each particular English sound.

If you would like to know what the other spelling possibilities are, take a look at our free and printable English Charts.

IPA chart for English

All of our sound files are in MP3 format. If you’re having any issues accessing these files, please let us know so we can quickly fix the problem.

English Vowels

Short Vowels

æɛɪɔ
batsaidorangewatch
əuʌ
abovelookdove

Long Vowels

ɑː
fatherkneethrough
ɔːəː
authorworld

Diphthongs

ɔɪəu
eightchairtoyelbow
ɪəau
hereshoutpooreye

A diphthong is a language sound that has two vowel qualities where the tongue starts at one point and finishes at another.

English Consonants

Plosive Consonants

bkd
babycatdaddy
gpt
igloopuppytent

Fricative Consonants

fhs
flagheadsit
ʒʃθ
measuresheepthree
ðvz
thevaluebuzz

Affricate Consonants

giraffequestion

Nasal Consonants

mnŋ
madamneckdrink

Liquid Consonants

lr
ballring

Semi Vowels

wj
wormhallelujah

Another great way to practice your English pronunciation is in our Interactive English Audio Lounge.

What are phonemes?

Phonemes are described as distinct language sounds here at english.spellandsound.com. We prefer to keep this site jargon free so the terms “phonemes” or “graphemes” aren’t used very often.

If you listen to the above sounds or phonemes, you might think that a phoneme is only one sound, but that is not entirely true. A phoneme is a group of sounds. Lets use an example; the p in “pin” sounds differently to the p in “spin” but they both have the same phoneme group [p].

If you are a beginner or intermediate English language learner, the phonemes recorded on this site and illustrated in your Spell and Sound English Chart can help you understand the subtleties of the English language and get you started.

If you are keen to know more, understanding the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and it’s notation can shed more light on the intricacies of English pronunciation.

What is the International Phonetic Alphabet?

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a standardised or universal system used to describe the sounds of oral language. It means that the sounds of French and English and many other Latin based languages have been transcribed into IPA symbols.

Most bilingual dictionaries have IPA symbols in brackets next to the word. You can use these symbols to help you pronounce a word by looking up the sound in your language within the IPA Index in your dictionary. Of course, for English, you just need your Spell and Sound English Chart.

You might find these sites interesting if you want to know more about the International Phonetic Alphabet.

All our audio files contain recordings by a native speaker

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Phonetic Inventory
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