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Understanding an entry

Please see the Understanding an entry page in the general help section.

Pronunciation guide

This guide will help you understand the pronunciations that come after some headwords, following the word ‘say’.

 

a sounds

e sounds

i sounds

a as in ‘bat’

e as in ‘get’

i as in ‘bit’

ah as in ‘cart’

ee as in ‘sleep’

uy as in ‘buy’

ay as in ‘day’

air as in ‘hair’

ear as in ‘near’

 

o sounds

u sounds

er sounds

o as in ‘dot’

u as in ‘but’

er as in ‘dirt’

oh as in ‘coat’

oo as in ‘book’

uh as in ‘better’

aw as in ‘saw’

ooh as in ‘boot’

 

ow as in ‘now’

   

oy as in ‘boy’

   

 

th as in ‘thin’

zh as in ‘treasure’

g as in ‘girl’

dh as in ‘then’

ch as in ‘cheese’

ng as in ‘bang’

sh as in ‘shed’

j as in ‘jam’

 

Bold (thick) letters show the part of the word that is said with more stress than the other parts of the word.

 

Spelling guide

This will help you find the word you are looking up if it starts with a letter that you don’t hear when you say the word, or with a letter that is said in an unusual way. 

Starting sound

Starting letters might be . . .

Example

f

ph

phone

g

gh

ghost

g

gu

guess

h

wh

who

j

g

gentle

k

ch

chemist

k

qu

quay

kw

qu

quite

n

gn

gnome

n

kn

knife

r

rh

rhinoceros

r

wr

wrap

s

c

certain

s

sc

scent

s

sw

sword

sh

s

sugar

sk

sch

school

t

tw

two

w

wh

wheel

z

x

xylophone