Speak and Pronounce Correctly in English / English Sounds and Letters

Speak and Pronounce Correctly


In English there is no one to one correspondence between spelling and sound. There are various letters and sounds which represent different sounds or letters.

  A letter may stand for different sounds.
   e.g. Cat /kǽtCivil /sɪvɪl/
 Here we notice that letter ‘C’ represent ‘K’ sound in Cat but ‘S’ sound in civil.
A sound may be represented by different letters or combination of letters.
You can notice in the examples given below how ‘K’ sound is represented by different letters which are underlined.
Kite, Cup, Rock,
ccording, Chemistry.
Such kind of mismatch between spellings and sounds create a confusion for an English learner. One can get confused for how to pronounce a new word.

Phonetic Transcription

    To overcome this problem, IPA International Phonetic Alphabet was devised by the International Phonetic Association as standardized representation of the sounds of spoken English.   All the letters or words can be transcribed phonetically with the help of IPA in which each English *sound (phoneme)has its own *symbol. Representation of sounds with certain symbols is called Phonetic Transcription.  

To know the exact pronunciation of any word, I’ll recommend you to see the phonetic transcription of that word. English dictionaries also tell us about the pronunciation of the word with Phonetic Transcription. When you open the dictionary you can see the phonetic transcription of any word side by side. In dictionaries you will see Phonetic Transcription in slashes like / / this. For example:
  words there and here both end with here (in spelling they have similar letters) but their pronunciation is different.

To know the correct pronunciation we can check phonetic transcription of these words i.e.

there /ðeə/ 

here /hɪə/  

If  you have to write a word for e.g. bat, you will spell with letters b a t. But if you want to know the correct pronunciation of the word bat, you will have to see the phonetic transcription of that word i.e. /bǽt/. Letter ‘a’ has different sound in bat and different sound in ask.

To know the exact pronunciation of any word, I’ll recommend you to see the phonetic transcription of that word.   When we talk about spelling, we need to keep in mind the difference between the written language and the spoken language. It is important to be clear about the difference between letters and sounds and the difference between how we write words and how we speak them.    

There are 26 letters in English Alphabet but there are 44 sounds in spoken English represented by these 26 letters. This means 26 letters represent much larger number of sounds. So sounds and letters do not always match up. As a result there arises confusion for how to pronounce or speak correctly?

Phonetic Transcription is the best answer to be sure about the correct  pronunciation. Don’t worry I’ll teach you Phonetic Transcription in detail so that you may be confident about any kind of word’s pronunciation. To understand about phonetic transcription you will have to know about 26 letters (that you already know A to Z) and 44 sounds ( and their symbols) represented by these letters. Click here to read abbout 12 Pure Vowel sounds.

Click here  to read about 8 impure vowels/ diphthongs.

   My friends! I assure you, you will learn correct pronunciation very quickly with my blog posts and videos. Just be attentive and read carefully. Rest nothing is difficult. If you find this post interesting, don’t forget to share, follow and like.
 Please watch my video tutorial given below based on this blog post.

2 thoughts on “Speak and Pronounce Correctly in English / English Sounds and Letters”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top