Key to Phonetic Respelling

The Dictionary.com Unabridged Phonetic Respelling Key

Pronunciations written in phonetic respelling form are intended to be used by native speakers of English. This chart will tell you how to read the pronunciation symbols.
In phonetic respellings, the primary stressed syllable is indicated by [ bold type ], as in newspaper [ nooz-pey-per ] and information [ in-fer-mey-shuhn ]. Syllables are separated with a hyphen [ – ].

 

Consonants
[ b ] boy, baby, rob
[ d ] do, ladder, bed
[ f ] food, offer, safe
[ g ] get, bigger, dog
[ h ] happy, ahead
[ j ] jump, budget, age
[ k ] can, speaker, stick
[ l ] let, follow, still
[ m ] make, summer, time
[ n ] no, dinner, thin
[ ng ] singer, think, long
[ p ] put, apple, cup
[ r ] run, marry, far, store
[ s ] sit, city, passing, face
[ sh ] she, station, push
[ t ] top, better, cat
[ ch ] church, watching, nature, witch
[ th ] thirsty, nothing, math
[ th ] this, mother, breathe
[ v ] very, seven, love
[ w ] wear, away
[ hw ] where, somewhat
[ y ] yes, onion
[ z ] zoo, easy, buzz
[ zh ] measure, television, beige
Vowels
[ a ] apple, can, hat
[ ey ] aid, hate, day
[ ah ] arm, father, aha
[ air ] air, careful, wear
[ aw ] all, or, talk, lost, saw
[ e ] ever, head, get
[ ee ] eat, see, need
[ eer ] ear, hero, beer
[ er ] teacher, afterward, murderer
[ i ] it, big, finishes
[ ahy ] I, ice, hide, deny
[ o ] odd, hot, waffle
[ oh ] owe, road, below
[ oo ] ooze, food, soup, sue
[ oo ] good, book, put
[ oi ] oil, choice, toy
[ ou ] out, loud, how
[ uh ] up, mother, mud
[ uh ] about, animal, problem, circus
[ ur ] early, bird, stirring
Foreign sounds
[ a ] Fr. ami
[ kh ] Scot. loch, Ger. ach or ich
[ œ ] Fr. feu, Ger. schön
[ r ] Fr. au revoir, Yiddish rebbe
[ uh ] Fr. oeuvre
[ y ] Fr. tu, Ger. über
Sample nasalized vowels
[ an ] Fr. bien
[ ahn ] Fr. croissant
[ awn ] Fr. bon
[ œn ] Fr. parfum
[ in ] Port. Prīncipe

 

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