The IPA English help page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA/English is a great resource on IPA pronunciation. he notes here is based off that but with notes targeted to how I speak.
If you want to practice IPA, use a transcription service to convert normal text into IPA such as https://tophonetics.com/
Vowels[edit | edit source]
Vowels with words as I would say them. All vowels are voiced.
|Close||i least, the, cheese, cheek
ɪ English ship, kit, mirror, edition
|ʊ pull bull, shook, cook
ʊː mood food
|u to, Stunde, Uhr
uː boot, Fuß
|eː way, may
ɛ bed, air
|ə ago, sofa
ɜː certain, bird, burn
|ʌ thumb up, fun, curry, un-prefix
ɔ orange, born, sword paw, (rounded of ʌ)
ɔː thought (RP), shore (RP)
|Open||æ cat, trap, tattoo, ambition
aː palm (RP), bra
|ɒ thought (US, rhyme bot), lot, neon
ɑ body, model, hot, start (rounded version of ɒ)
Some vowels are combined, called diphthongs or triphthongs.
|eɪ||a||/beɪ/, bay. eɪər player|
|aɪ||i||/baɪ/, buy. pie. aɪər, hire, aɪ.ər, higher|
|ɔɪ||a-oy||/bɔɪ/, boy. ɔɪ.ər employer
helps with more of an O sound at the beginning.
like oʊ but from farther back
|aʊ||ow||/baʊ/, bough, bow (verb). aʊər flour. mouth, loud|
|oʊ||oh||goat, mower, home|
|ɪr||ear||near, beer, deer, here|
|ɪə||e aah||dear (RP)|
|ɜr||square, care, fair|
|ɑr||part, large, marvelous, hearth|
|ɔr||north, for, war, horse, short, orchid, swarm|
|aɪr||fire, sapphire, liar, buyer|
|aʊr||tower, hour, flower, cower|
Some subtleties between British and North American pronunciations are given in the table below. 'r's before vowels are hard?
|near||/ˈnɪər/ ne-ar||/'nʊər/ neer|
|cure||/ˈkjʊər/ cue-er||/'kjuːr/ queuer|
Consonants[edit | edit source]
|b v||buy, cab|
|d v||dye, cad, ladder|
|dʒ v||giant, badge, joy|
|g v||guy, bag|
|j v||yes, hallelujah|
|l v||lie, sly, gal|
|m v||my, smile, cam|
|n v||nigh, snide, can|
|ŋ v||sang, sink, singer, song|
|p||pie, spy, cap|
|r v||rye, try, very|
|ʃ||shy, cash, emotion|
|t||tie, sty, cat, latter|
|tʃ||china, catch, chair|
|ð v||thy, breathe, father
ð is the voiced version of θ
|v v||vine /vaɪn/, leave, of /ʌv/|
|w v||wine, swine|
|z v||zoo, has|
|ʒ v||pleasure, beige|
Common Mistakes[edit | edit source]
|Word||IPA||Incorrect and comment|
|mischievous||/'mɪs tʃə vəs/||/'mɪs tʃe ve ʌs/ (mis-che-vi-ous) with an extra syllable.|
|triathlon||/'traɪ'æθ lɒn/||/'traɪ'æθ a:lɒn/ (tri-ath-a-lon), with an extra syllable.|
|draught||/'dræft/||/'drɔ:t/ or /'draʊt/ (drawt). augh here is like an 'af'.|
|worcestershire||/'wʊstɘrʃɘr/||the first 'r' is dropped. 'shire' is like in New Hampshire and sounds like 'sure'.|
|hearth||/'hɑrθ/||/'hɜrθ/ like 'h' + 'earth'. Should sound like the first half of harp.|
Accents[edit | edit source]
British greets with "hello love"
Received Pronunciation[edit | edit source]
Sound like a rich posh English person on the BBC.
- bath and path has an extra long 'a'. baah-th , paah-th.
- -ile endings are pronounced unlike North American. Eg. missile, fertile.
- 'r' sounds become 'a' like sounds; must be separated if not, and smoothed if it cannot be separated (-ire, -our)
- ɪr becomes ɪə. beer, bee-ah. sincere, sincere-ah
- ɜr becomes ɜə. care, caye-ah, fair, faye-ah.
- ɑr becomes ɑː (super long a). part, paah-t.
- ɒr needs to be separated. Awe: Orange (Or-range, awe-range). porridge (pour-ridge, pawe-ridge). or All: Dorothy (dor-rithy, dall-rithy), historical (his-tor-rical, his-tall-rical).
Cockney / Estuary[edit | edit source]
- th becomes f. three, free.
- 'l' becomes aw or w. milk, mil-ale-k. mail mawl..sdjf
- 'h' gets dropped. harry, 'arry. have, 'ave.
- t is a glottal stop. computer, compu'er.
- wales is 'wows'.
Midland / Northern[edit | edit source]
- cup of tea. cup becomes kuh-p .
- mug muh-g.
- up, uh-p
- love, luuv