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Phonetic alphabet - examples of sounds

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system where each symbol is associated with a particular English sound. By using IPA you can know exactly how to pronounce a certain word in English. This helps in improving English pronunciation and feeling more confident speaking in English, whether you learn English on you own or with a specialist teacher in an individual English Accent Training class. We also run online English courses in virtual groups, and immersion courses in London.

Here are examples of IPA use in common English words. You can practice various vowel and consonant sounds by pronouncing the words. This is one way how you can improve English pronunciation.

Download examples of IPA sounds (PDF) 

International Phonetic Alphabet Sounds In Everyday Speech       

Short Vowels

IPA SymbolWord examples
eWent, intend, send, letter.
æCat, hand, nap, flat, have.
ʌFun, love, money, one, London, come.
ʊPut, look, should, cook, book, look.
ɒRob, top, watch, squat, sausage.
əAlive, again, mother.

Long Vowels

IPA SymbolWord examples
i:Need, beat, team.
ɜ:Nurse, heard, third, turn.
ɔ:Talk, law, bored, yawn, jaw.
u:Few, boot, lose, gloomy, fruit, chew.
ɑ: Fast, car, hard, bath.

Diphthong Vowels

IPA Symbol 

Word examples 


Near, ear, clear, tear, beer, fear 


Hair, there, care, stairs, pear 


Face, space, rain , case, eight 


Joy, employ, toy, coil, oyster. 


My, sight, pride, kind, flight 


No, don’t, stones, alone, hole 


Mouth, house, brown, cow, out 

Consonants Sounds: Fricatives

IPA Symbol 

Word examples 

Full, Friday, fish, knife. 

Vest, village, view, cave. 


    Thought, think, Bath. 


    There, those, brothers, others. 

Zoo, crazy, lazy, zigzag, nose. 


Shirt, rush, shop, cash. 


Television, delusion, casual 

High, help, hello. 

Consonants Sounds: Plosives

IPA SymbolWord examples
pPin, cap, purpose, pause.
bBag, bubble, build, robe.
tTime, train, tow, late.
dDoor, day, drive, down, feed.
kCash, quick, cricket, sock.
gGirl, green, grass, flag.

Consonants Sounds: Affricates

IPA SymbolWord examples
ʈʃChoose, cheese, church, watch.
Joy, juggle, juice, stage.

Consonants Sounds: Nasals

IPA SymbolWord examples
mRoom, mother, mad, more.
nNow, nobody, knew, turn.
ŋKing, thing, song, swimming.

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Consonants Sounds: Approximants

IPA SymbolWord examples
rRoad, roses, river, ring, ride.
jYellow, usual, tune, yesterday, yard.
wWall, walk, wine, world.
l and ɫLaw, lots, leap, long, pill, cold, chill, melt.

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