Pronouncing English Consonants

Consonant Sounds are produced by completely or partially stopping the breath. Consonant Sounds can be voiceless (VL, no vibration of the vocal cords) or voiced (VD, vibration of the vocal cords) and often come in sound pairs.

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
Nasal m n
Fricative f  v    s  z    (x) h
Approximant   W j

  • /p/: pit
  • /b/: bit
  • /t/: tin
  • /d/: din
  • /k/: cut
  • /g/: gut
  • //: cheap
  • //: jeep
  • /m/: map
  • /n/: nap
  • //: bang
  • /f/: fat
  • /v/: vat
  • //: thin
  • //: then
  • /s/: sap
  • /z/: zap
  • //: she
  • //: measure
  • /x/: lochChanukah (often replaced by /h-/ and /-k/)
  • /h/: ham
  • //: whine (also written /hw/), (only when distinguishing whine/winewhich/witch; otherwise replaced by /w/)
  • /w/: we
  • //: run (often written /r/ in broad transcription)
  • /j/: yes
  • /l/: left

Consonant Sound Practice

These are example of consonant sounds :

Words Example                                               Phonemic Pronunciation

zero /’zɪrəʊ/
thunder /’θʌndər /
shy /ʃaɪ/
son /sʌn/
cheese /tʃi:z/
bottle /’bɑ:tḷ /
cat /kæt/
high /haɪ/
ship /ʃɪp/
jam /dʒæm/

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