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Pronunciation Key

A list of the pronunciation symbols used on this site is given below in the column headed SYMBOL. The column headed EXAMPLES contains words chosen to illustrate how the symbols are pronounced. The letters that correspond in sound to the symbols are shown in boldface.

care r
father ä
bib b
church ch
deed, milled d
fife, phase, rough f
gag g
hat h
which hw
pie, by
pier r
judge j
kick, cat, pique k
lid, needle* l
mum m
no, sudden* n
thing ng
caught, paw, for, horrid, hoarse** ô
noise oi
out ou
pop p
roar r
sauce s
ship, dish sh
tight, stopped t
thin th
this th
urge, term, firm, word, heard r
valve v
with w
yes y
zebra, xylem z
vision, pleasure, garage zh
about, item, edible, gallop, circus
butter r

*In English the consonants l and n often constitute complete syllables by themselves.

**Regional pronunciations of -or- vary. In pairs such as for, four; horse, hoarse; and morning, mourning, the vowel varies between () and (). These vowels are represented as follows:  for (fr),  four (fr, fr);  horse (hrs), hoarse (hrs, hrs); and morning (mr'ning), mourning (mr'ning, mr'-). Other words for which both forms are shown include more, glory, and borne. A similar variant occurs in words such as coral, forest, and horrid, where the pronunciation of o before r varies between () and (). In these words the (r) pronunciation is given first: forest (fr'ist, fr'-).


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