Video List of Phonemes

Here’s the List of Phonemes PDF


Transcript of the List of Phonemes (Sounds in English) Video

A phoneme is the technical name for a single sound in a language. In this list of phonemes, I’ve listed 47 sounds. One is really 2 sounds joined together – so that means that there are really up to 46 sounds in English.

While we’re talking about English in this video, we have to understand that there are several different major types of English: African English, Asian English, Carribean English, Central and South American English, and European, North American, and United Kingdom English. And each of those major types of English includes several sub-types of English, each spoken slightly differently.

Each type of English uses most of the English sounds or phonemes, and ignores some of the others. I’ll include all the sounds in English, and you can ignore the sounds you don’t use.

[When you see a letter in between the slash marks means I’m talking about the sound, not the name of the letter. I’ll bold the letters that are showing that sound in the picture name.]


As we work through these sounds, you’ll find it easiest if you just repeat what I say as I:
• say a sound; and
• say the names of the pictures on the slides.


This video will also help you pronounce the sounds correctly. The quiet sounds can be especially difficult to say on their own.


The list of phonemes in English

There is a PDF available, that includes all the pictures. There’s a link below this video, where you can access it.

Sound /a/ apple, ant

Sound /ae/ ape, apron 

Sound /air/ airplane, chair

Sound /ar/ arm, star

Sound /b/ ball, boy

Sound /ch/ chicken, children

Sound /d/ dog, dolphin

Sound /e/ egg, elephant

Sound /ee/ eat, sheep

Sound /er/ hamburger, bird

Sound /f/ fly, frog

Sound /g/ girl, goldfish

Sound /h/ hair, happy

Sound /i/ ill, insect

Sound /ie/ idea, pie

Sound /j/ jump, jelly

Sound /k/ key, kitten

Sound /l/ ladder, lamb

Sound /m/ mountains, map

Sound /n/ necklace, knee

Sound /ng/ sing, wedding

Sound /ng g/ fingers, fungus
In some types of English all words spelled with ng are all pronounced as /ng g/.

Sound /ngk/ drink, piggy bank
(Optional sound, but it’s useful for some students to have this sound – made up of /ng/ and /k/ – specifically taught.)

Sound /o/ orange, octopus

Sound /oe/ old, toes

Sound /oo/ foot, cook

Sound /oo/ moon, kangaroo

Sound /or/ four, dinosaur

Sound /ow/ owl, cloud

Sound /oy/ coin, boy

Sound /p/ pinch, zap

Sound /qu/ (kw) quarrel, quick

Sound /r/ rat, run

Sound /s/ snake, sad

Sound /sh/ shhh, shine

Sound /t/ table, tree

Sound /th/ thin, three

Sound /th/ feathers, brother

Sound /u/ sun, pup

Sound /ue/ cute, cube

Sound /v/ valley, vegetables

Sound /w/ wave, swim

Sound /wh/ (hw) whale, whistle. (Another optional sound. This used to be common, but now it’s rare.)

Sound /x/ (ks) ax/axe trucks

Sound /y/ yawn, yolk

Sound /z/ zip, buzz

Sound /zh/* explosion television

*There is no common way to write this sound (e.g. it can be written as: ge, s, si, and su among others) e.g.: Asia, amnesia, casual, closure, conclusion, corsage, measure, mirage, persuasion, pleasure, treasure, usual, vision, and visual.


I can teach these sounds to your child online

I hope you found this list of phonemes useful. If you’d prefer someone else to teach your child these sounds, I can teach them for you in my video-based Phonemic Awareness Course. Click here to find out more.