International Phonetic Alphabet Symbols

The following provides a brief guide to IPA symbols used in English. The capitalized keywords are from J. C. Wells’ Accents of English. The symbols correspond to the sounds of the underlined portions of the example words.

Consonants

The letters p, b, t, d, k, m, n, f, v, w, l, and z have the normal English sounds.

IPA Example IPA Example IPA Example
θ thick ŋ sing r rest
ð this j yes g get (not gem)
ʃ ashen chip s sit (not as)
ʒ azure jut

Vowels

IPA Example IPA Example IPA Example
æ
TRAP, BATH
e
FACE
ɚ
NURSE*
ɛ
DRESS i FLEECE
ɪr
NEAR
ɪ
KIT
PRICE
ɛr
SQUARE
ʊ
FOOT
u
GOOSE
ɑr
START
ɑ
PALM, LOT, THOUGHT, CLOTH1
o
GOAT
ɔr
NORTH, FORCE
ə
STRUT2
ɔɪ
CHOICE ʊr CURE
MOUTH eaten3
bottle3
bottom3
  1. Some dialects may distinguish these sounds.
  2. The pairs ə, ʌ (comma, STRUT) and ɚ, ɝ (letter, NURSE) can be considered allophones.
  3. Syllabic. If your font doesn’t place accents correctly, the vertical bar below may not be centered on the letter.

British Variants

IPA Example IPA Example IPA Example
ɑ BATH
ɜ
NURSE
ɑ
START
ɒ
LOT, CLOTH
ɪə
NEAR ɔ NORTH, FORCE, THOUGHT
əo
GOAT
ɛə
SQUARE
ʊə
CURE

Stress

Stress is marked before the affected syllable.

IPA Example IPA Example
ˈ primary stress mark ˌ secondary stress

IPA

The exact pronunciation of words may vary significantly according to the dialect of the speaker. A broad transcription is used here: eaten is rendered as /ˈitn̩/, not /ˈiːʔn̩/; in general, length marks (ː) are not indicated.

http://macchiato.com/unicode/IPA.html

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