Open main menu

Wikibooks β

English as an Additional Language/Pronunciation

< English as an Additional Language




The symbols used for consonants are shown in the following table. Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the left is voiceless, the one to the right voiced.

  Bi­labial Labio-
Den­tal Alveo­lar Post-
Pala­tal Velar Glot­tal
Stop p  b       t  d     k  g  
Affricate           tʃ  dʒ      
Nasal m       n     ŋ  
Fricative   f  v   θ  ð s  z ʃ  ʒ   (x) h
Approximant     (ʍ)  w   ɹ   j    
  • /p/: pit
  • /b/: bit
  • /t/: tin
  • /d/: din
  • /k/: cut
  • /ɡ/: gut
  • /tʃ/: cheap
  • /dʒ/: jeep
  • /m/: map
  • /n/: nap
  • /ŋ/: bang
  • /f/: fat
  • /v/: vat
  • /θ/: thin
  • /ð/: then
  • /s/: sap
  • /z/: zap
  • /ʃ/: she
  • /ʒ/: measure
  • /x/: loch, Chanukah (often replaced by /-k/ and /h-/, respectively)
  • /h/: ham
  • /ʍ/: whine (also written /hw/, often replaced by /w/)
  • /w/: we
  • /ɹ/: run (often written /r/ in broad transcription)
  • /j/: yes
  • /l/: left


Received PronunciationEdit

Received Pronunciation is the prestige British accent, sometimes referred to as BBC English. It is used as the standard in most media within Great Britain.

Full vowelsEdit

Full vowels are those that appear in stressed syllables.

Monophthongs Short Long
Front Back Front Central Back
Close ɪ ʊ  
Mid ɛ ʌ   ɜː ɔː
Open æ ɒ   ɑː
  • /ɪ/: bid
  • /ʊ/: good
  • /ɛ/: bed (sometimes transcribed /e/)
  • /ʌ/: bud
  • /æ/: bat (sometimes transcribed /a/)
  • /ɒ/: pot
  • /iː/: bead
  • /uː/: booed
  • /ɜː/: bird (sometimes transcribed /əː/)
  • /ɔː/: bought, board
  • /ɑː/: father, bard
Diphthongs Closing Centring
to /ɪ/ to /ʊ/
Starting close     ɪə  ʊə
Starting mid eɪ  ɔɪ əʊ ɛə
Starting open  
  • /eɪ/: bay
  • /ɔɪ/: boy
  • /əʊ/: toe
  • /aɪ/: buy (sometimes transcribed /ʌɪ/)
  • /aʊ/: cow
  • /ɪə/: beer
  • /ʊə/: boor (falling out of use in British English; often replaced by /ɔː/)
  • /ɛə/: bear (sometimes transcribed /ɛː/)

Reduced vowelsEdit

Reduced vowels occur in unstressed syllables.

  • /ɪ/: roses
  • /ə/: Rosa’s, runner
  • /l̩/: bottle
  • /n̩/: button
  • /m̩/: rhythm

General AmericanEdit

General American is the standardized accent of the United States, and is the dialect most commonly used in spoken media there.

Full vowelsEdit

Monophthongs Checked Free
Front Central Back Front Central
Close ɪ   ʊ i   u
Close-mid       e   o
Open-mid ɛ ʌ     ɝ ɔ
Open æ         ɑ
  • /ɪ/: bid
  • /ʊ/: good
  • /ɛ/: bed
  • /ʌ/: bud
  • /æ/: bad
  • /i/: bead
  • /u/: booed
  • /e/: bayed
  • /o/: bode
  • /ɝ/: bird
  • /ɔ/ or /ɑ/: bought
  • /ɑ/: body, pod, father

Note: the vowels /e/ and /o/ are usually diphthongal, so the transcriptions /eɪ/ and /oʊ/ are also often used.[1]

Diphthongs Closing Rhotacized
to /ɪ/ to /ʊ/
Starting close     ɪɹ  ʊɹ
Starting mid ɔɪ   ɛɹ  ɔɹ
Starting open ɑɹ
  • /ɔɪ/: boy
  • /aɪ/: buy, thigh
  • /aʊ/: bout, cow
  • /ɪɹ/: beer, here
  • /ʊɹ/: boor, manure (often replaced by /ɝ/, sometimes by /ɔɹ/ in American English)
  • /ɛɹ/: bear, air
  • /ɔɹ/: bore (sometimes phonemicized /oɹ/)
  • /ɑɹ/: bar

Reduced vowelsEdit

  • /ɨ/: roses (for many Americans merged with /ə/)
  • /ə/: Rosa’s
  • /ɚ/: runner
  • /l̩/: bottle
  • /n̩/: button
  • /m̩/: rhythm

General AustralianEdit

Full vowelsEdit

Monophthongs Short Long
Front Central Back Front Central Back
Close ɪ   ʊ ʉː  
Mid e   ɔ ɜː
Open æ a   æː  
  • /ɪ/: bid
  • /ʊ/: good
  • /e/: bed
  • /ɔ/: pot
  • /æ/: bat
  • /a/: bud
  • /iː/: bead
  • /ʉː/: booed
  • /eː/: bared
  • /ɜː/: bird
  • /oː/: bought, board
  • /æː/: bad
  • /aː/: father, bard
Diphthongs Closing Centring
to unrounded to rounded
Starting close     ɪə  ʊə
Starting mid əʉ  
Starting open æɪ  ɑe æɔ  
  • /oɪ/: boy
  • /əʉ/: toe
  • /æɪ/: bay
  • /ɑe/: buy
  • /æɔ/: cow
  • /ɪə/: beer
  • /ʊə/: tour (falling out of use in Australian English; often replaced by disyllabic /ʉːə/ or monophthongal /oː/)

Reduced vowelsEdit

  • /ə/: roses, Rosa’s, runner
  • /l̩/: bottle
  • /n̩/: button
  • /m̩/: rhythm


  1. Roca, Iggy & Johnson, Wyn (1999). Course in Phonology. Blackwell Publishing.