This is the British Council phonemic chart. Help your students hear the sounds of English by clicking on the symbols below. Click on the top right hand corner of each symbol to hear sample words including the sounds.

About the chart

  • Pure vowels are arranged the same way as in the IPA chart: according to mouth shape (left to right, lips wide / round - top to bottom, jaw closed / open).
  • Diphthongs are grouped in rows according to their second sound.

Try some pronunciation activities

Sounds Right iPad app
If you have an iPad, you can download and install a free copy of the British Council phonemic chart on it. Find out more on LearnEnglish.

Download the chart
You can download this chart to use on your PC - you'll need Adobe Flash Player to use it.


Copyright information: © British Council. This pronunciation chart is free for you to use and share for educational purposes. The chart should in no way be used or circulated for financial gain.

 

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Comments

Hi Jeanette,

Thanks for the comment - there has been lots of discussion about the 'missing diphthong' on this page - our development team is working on updating the chart, but it is taking longer than expected - we hope to have it updated as some time in the near future.
Thanks,
Cath

It used to be that I could use the chart directly in the classroom (live from the Internet, that is), and click on it to hear the sounds etc... It now seems to be unavailable (I wonder why that is, it's really a shame), and I tried to download some of the stuff, but to avail although I use a MacBookPro and even went onto I-Tunes. Can you adise on the procedures ? Fix this so the chart is back online as it used to be ? Thanks in advance.
E.L.

Hi Emmanuelle

Click on the link above to download the chart onto your PC which I am sure you've done already. Please note you'll need Adobe Flash Player to use it so make sure you have this available and updated.

Best wishes

Del

I'm curious why this chart doesn't have a diphthong for /ʊə/

The one Adrian Underhill uses on the seminar videos does. I became aware of his videos through the British Council, so I am wondering why there is a difference there.

Is it not really regarded as a true diphthong? For example, in "pure" /'pjʊə/ is this seen as two separate syllables? Anyway, many other phonemic charts do have /ʊə/ so I was a but confused by the difference.

Hi AnthonyESL

Thanks for your comment - you are right, that although there has been some disagreement about diphthongs, the /ʊə/ sound is missing here - we have been working on updating the chart here for some time - apologies for the inconvenience. Our LearnEnglish App (which you can download for free - https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/apps/sounds-right ) does include the sound, and is a great resource for students to use.
Hope that helps,

Cath
TE Team

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