Starting Phonics – 1.

International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
Short & Long Words
More Words
Combining Sounds: g, h, w, y, r, l, s, t, qu-, -ng, -nk
Other Rules
th – th
Odd Spellings

International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML | Wiki | IPA Chart for American English

æ ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ ə ʔ p b
ɑ e i o u ʌ t d
ju k ɡ
ɔɪ ər
ɚ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
s z
l f v
m j ʃ ʒ
n r θ ð
ŋ w hw h


Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML | Utah govt’s ‘Vowel Combinations’

Short IPA IPA Long (includes)
a æ ae aigh
-ay a_e
e ɛ i ee ea
i ɪ ie eigh
ai -y i_e
o ɑ oe ough oa -ow o_e
u ʌ / ʊ u / ju ue ough ui
-ew u_e
Hard IPA IPA Back
ar ɑɹ ɔ aw augh
au wa al
er ər / ɚ / ɝ ow ough ou
ir ər / ɚ / ɝ ʊ ou oo
or ɔər / ər ɔɪ oi -oy
ur ʊər / ər

Short & Long Words

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Teaching tip: After becoming familiar with these, and after writing the basic printed alphabet, connect phonics and writing using the 24-line phonics writing sheet.

Short Long
mat mate
met mete
mit mite
mot mote
mut mute
bat bait
bet beat
bit bite
bot boat
but bute
hat hate
het heat
hit height
hot hote
hut hoot
pan pane
pen peen
pin pine
pon pone
pun poon
ban bane
Ben bean
bin bine
bon bone
bun boon
can cane
Ken keen
kin kine
con cone
cun coon
Mack make
meck meek
Mick Mike
mock moke
muck muke
tack take
tech teak
tick tyke
tock toke
tuck tuke
took (ʊ)
back bake
beck beak
bick bike
bock boke
buck buke
book (ʊ)
pat Pate
pet Pete
pit pight
pot pote
putt poot
put (ʊ)
gnat Nate
net neat
knit night
knot note
nut Newt
cat Kate
ket keet
kit kite
cot coat
cut cute
caught (ɔ)
sat sate
set seat
sit sight
sought (ɔ) sote
soot (ʊ) suit
Single-letter Double-letter
Short Long Short Long
tap tape tapping taping
met mete metting meting
sit site sitting siting
hop hope hopping hoping
mop mope mopping moping
dot dote dotting doting
run rune running runing

More Words

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oy /oi (ɔɪ)
Roy boy coy toy voyage
royal boil coil toil foil
ou / oo (ʊ) could would should roof hoof
look snook hook shook crook
rook cook brook foot soot
ou / oo (u) soup coupe group youth tour
spoon soon moon loon coon
spool cool pool school fool
aw / augh (ɔ) saw claw lawn dawn spawn
taught straught fraught naught daughter
-ow (aʊ) cow bow how sow now
-ow (oʊ) blow bow show sow know
-ew (u) blew dew hew new knew
-ue (u) blue due hue glue true
-y / -ey (i) happy lucky baby honey money
-ax ax tax wax max lax
fax pax sax rax zax
-ex- lex vex next exit excess
-ix- six mix fix helix pixel
-ox- ox box fox epoxy oxygen
-ux- lux tux flux crux deluxe
-cks kicks bucks locks backs rocks
-bs bibs ribs cribs cubs tubs
-ds bids reds lids duds tids
-gs bigs digs rigs rags tags
-ps bops caps lips whips pups
-ts bits cats mits nuts rats
-ms/ls moms dims lulls mulls
-ns/ys nans cans yays days
-ves lives hives chives arrives delves
-ths lathes widths bathes paths tithes
-f/th/s fifths twelfths myths youths rifs
though although thorough
dough doughnut
(u) through breakthrough slough
(ɔ) ought bought brought
fought nought sought
wrought dreadnought
(aʊ) drought plough bough
(ʌf) enough rough tough
(ɔf) cough trough
(ʌp) hiccough (hiccup)
wa- -l -r -re
(wɔ) watch water wash want
(ɔl) call ball fall Paul
(ɑɹ) car bar far par
(er) care bear fair pear
(ər) her burr sir purr
(aɪəɹ) hire buyer sire pyre
(ɔɹ) core boar soar pour
(ʊəɹ) cure dure sure pure


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voiceless voiced voiceless voiced
Stops Double Stops
p b pp bb
t d tt dd
c, k g ck gg
Fricatives   Double Fricatives
s z ss zz
f v ff
θ ð th th
ʃ (t: -tio-) ʒ (j, s: -sio-) sh
Liquids & Nasals   Double Liquids & Nasals
l ll
r rr
m mm
n nn
ŋ ng

Usually, the purpose of doubling these consonants is to clarify that the vowel before is short.

Stops have two sounds, one when before a vowel, one after the vowel—a “stop” and a “start” version. Doubling a stop in a spelling usually indicates pronouncing both the “stop” and “start” sounds. Examples are: bubble, daddy, wiggle, happy, little, and chicken.

For non-native speakers…

Practice stops by sandwiching them between vowels and repeating them as an exercise. For example with “b”: bababababababa. Do this with all Stops.

Practice “l”, “th”, and all “l” combinations by sticking your tongue out, relaxed, the entire time. Practice “bl”, “fl”, “pl”, etc. by sticking your tongue out the entire time, even spitting like a baby would.

If “l” is a problem, which it can be for some far eastern speakers, practice “l” by putting the tip of your tongue behind your lower front teeth and pronouncing it with the middle of your tongue against your top front teeth.

Combining Sounds:
g, h, w, y, r, l, s, t, qu-, -ng, -nk

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(practice words, may not be real words)

-ang -ing -ong -ung -ank -ink -onk -unk
g- gang ging gong gung gank gink gonk gunk
h- hang hing hong hung hank hink honk hunk
w- wang wing wong wung wank wink wonk wunk
y- yang ying yong yung yank yink yonk yunk
qu- quang quing quong quung quank quink quonk quunk
br- brang bring brong brung brank brink bronk brunk
cr- crang cring crong crung crank crink cronk crunk
dr- drang dring drong drung drank drink dronk drunk
fr- frang fring frong frung frank frink fronk frunk
gr- grang gring grong grung grank grink gronk grunk
pr- prang pring prong prung prank prink pronk prunk
tr- trang tring trong trung trank trink tronk trunk
bl- blang bling blong blung blank blink blonk blunk
cl- clang cling clong clung clank clink clonk clunk
fl- flang fling flong flung flank flink flonk flunk
gl- glang gling glong glung glank glink glonk glunk
pl- plang pling plong plung plank plink plonk plunk
sl- slang sling slong slung slank slink slonk slunk
sp- spang sping spong spung spank spink sponk spunk
spr- sprang spring sprong sprung sprank sprink spronk sprunk
st- stang sting stong stung stank stink stonk stunk
str- strang string strong strung strank strink stronk strunk
sk- skang sking skong skung skank skink skonk skunk
scr- scrang scring scrong scrung scrank scrink sconk scrunk

Other Rules

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-ange- angel change mange range strange
-aste baste haste paste taste waste
(soft C) “s”
ce ice succeed piece cease certain
ci city cite cinema recite cinder
cy icy cycle mercy cyclone fancy
(soft G) “j”
ge forge bulge charge cage huge
gi giant gist imagine ginger magic
gy Egypt edgy gym energy gypsy
sm- smoke smite smooth smack smart
sn- snack sneak snap snail snake
sw- swag swim swipe switch swap
qu- quack quake quite quiet quick
tw- twang twas tweak twice twitch
-bl wobble table fable stable marble
-ckl cackle tickle pickle trickle chuckle
-dl doodle noodle poodle puddle muddle
-pl apple maple staple people couple
-tl cattle brittle bottle rattle kettle
-stl = sl
thistle whistle castle hustle bristle
-cious conscious precious gracious delicious vivacious
-cian politician musician magician tactician beautician
-tion nation solution affection option fiction
-ssion (ʃ)
discussion expression commission impression session
-sion (ʒ)
vision decision occasion conclusion provision
sh shoot shake shatter shop show
ch chocolate chow cheap chicken chime
-tch- = ch catch match latch witch ketchup
-dge = j judge ledge bridge hedge badge
-ture (chur) mature fracture capture lecture rapture
creature texture posture mixture picture
sculpture culture fixture vulture moisture
future structure puncture feature nature
-que = k clique technique pique opaque torque
-eo- = ??
chameleon dungeon luncheon pigeon surgeon
people leopard Geoffrey theory yeoman
-eu- = ue
euphoria Eugene deuce feud pseudo
neutron therapeutic euphemism Pentateuch Zeus
-mb = m lamb comb climb tomb bomb
kn- = n know knight knee knock knob
gn = n gnat gnaw gnarl gnash gnostic
align arraign benign foreign design
silent -h- hour honor honest homage aghast
ghost ghetto gherkin ghastly exhibit
rhythm rhyme rhinoceros rhubarb exhaust
bt = t subtle debt indebted doubt doubtful
wr- = r write wrong wring wrap wreath
sc- = s science scissors scene crescent ascend
pn- = n pneuma pneumonia pneumonic pneumatic pneumatology
ps- = s psychology psalm psalter pseudonym psychiatry
pt- = t pterodactyl pteranodon ptarmigan ptosis pteropod
ch = k ache echo chorus school stomach
chaos chemist orchid scheme mechanic
technology architect anchor monarch orchestra
f- k- p- s- x- sh- +
-ed = “t”
scoffed walked shopped hissed boxed
-s -es = “z” dogs slabs moms dads zones
-fs -ks -ps -ts = “s” gaffs laughs tacks taps lights
-kes -pes -tes = “s” takes wipes likes bites writes

th – th

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θ — voiceless ð — voiced
thorn third this they
thin fourth that their
thirsty fifth these them
thief sixth those thy
theater seventh there thee
thaw eighth than thou
thing ninth then thine
thank tenth themselves thyself
thick eleventh
therapy twelfth another other
thrive thirteenth father scathe
think thirteen mother breathe
math thirty brother seethe
weather teethe
thousand thirtieth feather loathe
booth path leather gather
bath python tether either
teeth truth worthy rather
youth something bathe another
north panther clothe soothe
south marathon clothing smooth
both thermos
oath thunder thereabout the
strength thread thereafter therein
broth month thereunder thereby
wreath breath thereupon thereof
thigh through thenceforth thereon
thumb thought though thereto
mouth earth therefore therewith

Odd Spellings

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cry by to bee
dry my two be
fry me too
fly be who by
try he do buy
pry we shoe bye
why she
sly won their
spy hi one there
shy high once they’re
lieutenant Yosemite albeit been
colonel corps niche sugar
what queue facade ocean
island those quay tortoise
hors d’ oeuvres caveat mishap hare
read recipe awry guard
was debris epitome listen
of have elite christen
great Greenwich paradigm woman
laugh bologna choir women
could come kind breath
would some hind dread
should done mind bread
child does find half
mild comb wind calf
wild tomb bind behalf
olive affirmative pejorative aggressive
live correlative missive laxative
give offensive expensive expressive
cursive adjective explosive derivative
creative sensitive conclusive demonstrative