Help:Pronunciation respelling key

The following pronunciation respelling key is used in some Wikipedia articles to respell the pronunciations of English words. It does not use special symbols or diacritics apart from the schwa (ə), which is used for the first sound in the word "about".


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.

Rspl. Example(s) IPA
a[1] bat /æ/
ah father /ɑː/
air bear, Mary /ɛər/
ar farther /ɑːr/
arr marry /ær/
aw bought /ɔː/
ay bait /eɪ/
e[1] bet /ɛ/
eh[2] prestige
ee beat /iː/
happy, serious /i/
eer beer, nearer /ɪər/
err merry /ɛr/
ew[3] cute, beauty, dew /juː/
ewr[3] cure, lure /jʊər/
eye[4] item /aɪ/
i[1] bit /ɪ/
ih[5] historic
ire hire /aɪər/
irr mirror /ɪr/
o[1] bot /ɒ/
oh boat /oʊ/
oir coir /ɔɪər/
oo boot, you /uː/
influence, fruition /u/
oor poor, tourist /ʊər/
or horse, hoarse, pour, forum /ɔːr/
orr moral /ɒr/
ow bout, vow /aʊ/
owr flour /aʊər/
oy choice, boy /ɔɪ/
u[1] but /ʌ/
uh[6] frustration
ur bird, furry /ɜːr/
urr hurry /ʌr/
uu[1] book /ʊ/
uurr courier /ʊr/
y[4] bite, bide /aɪ/
ə about, comma /ə/
ər letter /ər/
Rspl. Example(s) IPA
b buy /b/
ch[7] church, nature /tʃ/
d dye, ladder /d/
dh thy, this /ð/
f fight /f/
g go /ɡ/
gh[8] guess, guitar
h high /h/
j jive /dʒ/
k kite, sky, lock /k/
kh loch, Chanukah /x/
l lie, sly /l/
m my /m/
n nigh /n/
ng ring, singer /ŋ/
nk[9] sink /ŋk/
p pie, spy /p/
r rye, try /r/
s sigh /s/
ss[10] ice, tense
sh shy /ʃ/
t tie, sty, latter /t/
tch[7] church, natural /tʃ/
th thigh /θ/
v vie /v/
w wye /w/
wh why /hw/
y you /j/
z zoo /z/
zh pleasure /ʒ/

Syllables and stress

Syllables are separated by hyphens ("-"). The stress on a syllable is indicated by capital letters. For example, the word "pronunciation" (ən/) is respelled prə-NUN-see-AY-shən. In this example, the primary and secondary stress are not distinguished, as the difference is automatic. In words where primary stress precedes secondary stress, however, the secondary stress should not be differentiated from unstressed syllables, because to respell "motorcycle" (əl/), for example, as MOH-tər-SY-kəl instead of MOH-tər-sy-kəl would incorrectly suggest the pronunciation əl/.