Listen to & Record All the English Sounds - Vowels & consonants

Introduction to English Sounds – Vowel Sounds & Consonant Sounds

With Voice Recorder & Audio Files


Listen to and record all the sounds in English, all the vowel sounds and consonant sounds and listen to word stress too. It’s a great way to get to know your English Pronunciation and refresh the sounds of English.  

Join our 5 day free English Pronunciation Online Starter Course. 

English is not a phonetic language. This means that we can’t know exactly how to pronounce a word by the spelling.

English has over 40 sounds. There are two types of sounds; vowel sounds and consonant sounds. Click to listen to each vowel sound and consonant sound by itself and in words. You’ll listen to the 3 types of English vowels – long vowels, short vowels and English diphthong vowels. 

Record your speech and compare it with the native speaker. Please note these tools may not work on mobile devices.

As a non-native speaker it is likely that making some of these sounds correctly when you speak will be difficult for you. The tool below will help you improve your English sounds, listening skills and awareness of syllable stress.

Also use this page to improve or revise the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is extremely useful for improving your English pronunciation. Remember – /:/ mean a long vowel, two vowel symbols means an English diphthong vowel (or double vowel), /ˈ/ indicates the next syllable is stressed. 

Are you looking for an English Pronunciation Course? See our article on 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an English Pronunciation Course to help you choose the right course for you. 

Listen carefully as you make each Vowel & Consonant sound.

 

English Vowel Sounds

 

Short Vowels

/ɪ/
hit | pick | miss | tip

/e/
let | neck | mess | wet

/æ/
sat | back | hat | cap

/ɒ/
hot | sock | boss | top

/ʌ/
cut | luck | fuss | cup

/ʊ/
put | look | cook | good

/ə/
This vowel is in many weak syllables:
apart | pilot | carrot | minute

English Long Vowels – Listen and Record!

Now, let’s try the long vowels. Pay careful attention to the length of each long English vowel sound as you listen.

/i:/
heat | peak | piece | leak

/a:/
start | dark | glass | laugh

/u:/
suit | threw | juice | room

/ɔ:/
caught | pork | horse | form

/ɜ:/
hurt | work | nurse | sir

English Diphthong Vowels / English Double Vowels – Listen and Record!

Some of these vowels won’t exist in your first language. Because of this you may be mispronouncing them.

Listen and compare!

As you listen to and record each double vowel, check you are you making the first vowel AND the second vowel too.

Remember that each phonetic symbol in the IPA represents 1 sound (or 1 mouth position). So each of these has two vowels, because there are two phonetic symbols.

When many non-native speakers say a word like ‘phone’ they often leave out the 2nd vowel in the diphthong.

For example, the vowel in ‘note’ is /oʊ/, but they pronounce the /o/ and not the /ʊ/ so it sounds more like ‘not’ or ‘nought’. As you go through each English vowel sound, feel the two positions in each double vowel.   

/aɪ/
light | like | rice | ripe

/eɪ/
late | lake | race | train

/ɔɪ/
boy | join | choice | noise

/aʊ/
about | found | house | down

/oʊ/
note | coke | hose | phone

/ɪə/
hear | near | fear | beer

/eə/
hair | share | pear | chair

/ʊə/
 tour | lure | cure | pure 

English Consonant Sounds

Listen carefully to each English consonant sound as you make them. Think about the position of your mouth as you make each consonant sound.  With a Speech Active Course you will perfect all the consonant sounds that speakers of your first language find challenging. 

Pay particular attention to consonant sounds at the ends of words. Non-native speakers sometimes leave off important end sounds and this results in unclear pronunciation and sounding like you have poor grammar (past tense and plural endings). See this article on improving your pronunciation of sounds at the ends of English words

Listen to all the Consonant Sounds in English. Record yourself and compare. 

/p/ pay | happy | cup

/b/ bay | trouble | rub

/t/ tip | letter | sat

/d/ dip | ladder | sad

/k/ came | talking | back

/g/ game | bigger | bag

/f/ fine | offer | off

/v/ vine | saving | of

/θ/ thin | method | both

/ð/ then | other | with

/s/ sue | missing | face

/z/ zoo | crazy | phase

/ʃ/ show | pushing | rush

/ʒ/ measure | asia | vision

/l/
love | follow | well

/m/
mail | humour | some

/n/
nail | funny | nine

/ŋ/
singer | sing

/h/
heal | perhaps

/r/
real | correct

/j/
you | beyond

/w/
we | showing

English Word Stress

The way we use the pitch of the voice to stress certain syllables in English is very important for speaking clearly. This makes the ‘music’ of English.

Did you know that one syllable in every multi-syllable English word is stressed? 

Non-native English speakers often make the stress too even or flat, or they might put the stress on the wrong syllable. 

Unfortunately you can’t tell where the stress is in an English word by the spelling! 

This is often a particularly difficult area for non-native speakers. With your Speech Active Course you will become a master of word stress, sentence stress and weak vowels. You’ll become an expert at hearing and making the correct rhythm and stress in English words and sentences.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) the word stress is marked with a little dash /ˈ/ – see the ˈ in between the bracketsThe dash means that the next syllable is stressed.

For word stress examples, exercises and videos visit our page – Word Stress Exercises. 

Listen carefully to the up and down of the voice.

English Word Stress

politics
political
politicians

technique
technical
technology

economy
economic
economical

I created this page to help people learning English pronunciation and who want to improve their English accent. I created this page to help people learning English pronunciation and who want to improve their English accent. 

You can use the recording tool and information above to listen to, record and practise all the sounds in English – each and every English vowel sound and each and every English consonant sound.

Some of them might be different to what you think!

Listen carefully.  

English has a lot of sounds! Many languages have WAY fewer vowel sounds than English. As a non-native English speaker, it’s likely that you have difficulty with some vowel and consonant sounds because they don’t exist in your first language.

With the tools above you’ll be able to:

– listen to audio of all the English vowel sounds and consonant sounds
– record and check your pronunciation of English vowel sounds and consonant sounds
– revise the IPA International Phonetic Alphabet for each sound
– practise your pronunciation of English vowel and consonant sounds

For more practise with the English Vowels IPA Examples.  

Would you like more help improving your English Pronunciation?


Start improving today with our tailored award winning English Pronunciation & Fluency Courses.

Our online courses will help you speak clearer English and will give you the practise you need to correct your English vowel and consonant sounds. 

Become a master at English word stress, sentence stress, weak vowels and all areas of English pronunciation with Speech Active. Our courses are tailored specifically for speakers of your first language.

Find more information on our full English Pronunciation and Fluency Courses for speakers of your first language here: English Pronunciation Courses. 

See a tour video of courses at the bottom of this page. 

Keep up the great work!

x

Georgie and the Speech Active Team

Listen to English Sounds – Vowels & Consonants

by

Georgie Harding has assisted thousands of people from all over the world with improving their clarity and spoken English skills. A Speech Pathology degree (BAppSc(SpPathand CELTA qualifications and over 15 years of experience providing 1:1, group and online training make Georgie a leader in her field.  

Georgie is the creator the world’s leading English Pronunciation online courses that are tailored to the language background of the student and presents regularly at Universities.

If you’ve ever met Georgie or completed her award winning courses you’ll know how passionate she is about helping people move forward with better spoken English and more confidence. 

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