Both the IPA and respelling for English on Wikipedia are designed to record all distinctive sounds found in major varieties of English. That is, we record differences found in some varieties but not in others, such as those between "father" and "farther", "wine" and "whine", and "cot" and "caught". This does not mean these differences are, or must be, always distinguished; if you speak a dialect that does not distinguish "father" and "farther", for example, simply ignore the difference between FAH-dhər and FAR-dhər.
For a more thorough discussion of the sounds and dialectal variation, see Help:IPA/English.
|ew||cute, beauty, dew||/juː/|
|or||horse, hoarse, pour, forum||/ɔːr/|
|k||kite, sky, lock||/k/|
|t||tie, sty, latter||/t/|
- /æ, ɛ, ɪ, ɒ, ʌ, ʊ/ (a, e(h), i(h), o, u(h), uu) are checked vowels, meaning never occurring at the end of a word or before a vowel. When a checked vowel is followed by a consonant and a stressed vowel, which is rare nonetheless, it is acceptable in some cases to attribute the following consonant to the same syllable as the checked vowel, as in bal-AY, even though in IPA it is customary to attribute it to the following syllable, as in //. However, when the following consonant is a voiceless plosive (/p, t, k/) pronounced with aspiration (a slight delay in the following vowel), it must be attributed to the same syllable as the following vowel, as in ta-TOO, because tat-OO may result in a different pronunciation than intended (compare "whatever" whot-EV-ər, whut-, wherein /t/ is not aspirated and may be glottalized or flapped). Similarly, when a vowel is followed by /s/, one or more consonants, and a stressed vowel, the syllabification must be retained, as in fruh-STRAY-shən, because frus-TRAY-shən may result in a different pronunciation than intended.
- /ɛ/ in syllable-final positions may be respelled eh instead of e when otherwise it may be misinterpreted as another sound such as /i(ː)/ or /eɪ/.
- ew and ewr are for when /juː/ or /jʊər/ takes place right after a consonant within the same syllable. When /juː/ or /jʊər/ begins a syllable (e.g. "youth", "Europe", "value"), use yoo(r)—unless it is subject to yod-dropping or yod-coalescence: "Lithuania" LITH-ew-AY-nee-ə.
- /aɪ/ is respelled eye when it begins a syllable and otherwise y. When y is followed by a consonant within the same syllable, place an e after the consonant as necessary: "price" PRYSE, "tight" TYTE.
- /ɪ/ in syllable-final positions may be respelled ih instead of i when otherwise it may be misinterpreted as another sound such as /aɪ/.
- /ʌ/ in syllable-final positions is respelled uh instead of u to better distinguish it from /u(ː), ʊ/.
- /tʃ/ after a vowel in the same syllable is respelled tch instead of ch to better distinguish it from /k, x/.
- /ɡ/ may be respelled gh instead of g when otherwise it may be misinterpreted as /dʒ/.
- /ŋk/ is respelled nk rather than ngk, since the assimilation is mandatory, except beyond a syllable boundary: "tinker" TING-kər.
- /s/ may be respelled ss instead of s when otherwise it may be misinterpreted as /z/: "ice" EYESS, "tense" TENSS (compare eyes, tens).