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Sounds - Lessons

Sounds - Lessons

Welcome to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University English Pronunciation Program – ‘Sounds’.


By the end of these 10 lessons you should be able to:

  • recognise the symbols of English
  • recognise the sounds of English
  • tell the difference between these sounds
  • say these sounds
  • know the common spellings of these sounds
  • pronounce some words containing these sounds



This program is to help you learn about pronunciation. However, there is one major problem with learning pronunciation on computer, and that is that computers cannot listen.  In some of these exercises you should work with a partner who is at a different computer, but if you really want to check that you are pronouncing something correctly, ask a teacher to help you.


Lesson Index

These are the lessons in this program. Click a button to choose a lesson. Click a red symbol for more details. Move your mouse on it and click the  image to hear it.

//, /ɪ/, /ʊ/ & // /p/, /b/, /t/ & /d/
/e/, /ə/, /ɜː/ & /ɔː/ /k/, /g/, /f/, /v/, // & //
/æ/, /ʌ/, /ɑː/ & /ɒ/ /s/, /z/, /ʃ/ & /ʒ/
/ɪə/, //, /ʊə/ & /ɔɪ/ /m/, /n/ & /ŋ/
/əʊ/, //, // & // /h/, /l/, /r/, /j/ & /w/



When you are learning pronunciation there are some strange symbols that you should know. The basic ones are on this page:

  1. Two diagonal lines with a letter in the middle; e.g. /e/ means that this is a sound, not a spelling. You may also see symbols in square brackets; e.g. [ʘ], these include sounds that are not in English, like this example [ʘ] which sounds like a kiss!
  2. If you see a mark like this: after a symbol, it means that the symbol has a long sound; e.g. /iː/, /uː/, /ɜː/, /ɔː/, and /ɑː/


Phonemic Alphabet

These are the characters that represent sounds in the alphabet. Click a sound to go to its page. Move your mouse on the phonemic alphabet and click the  image to hear it.





Last updated on: Thursday, June 14, 2012