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.




Hi - you can download the chart by right clicking on the link above 'Phonemic chart to download'. (It's just below the chart.) Then select 'Save link as...'.Hope you find it useful!RobTeachingEnglish

The above "phonemic chart" (not phonetic chart?) is so useless as to be a barrier to the use of phonetics for English.  Dump it.  An English based standard is what is needed.  It's not 1888 any more for God's sake.  Get rid of the special symbols and give us something we can type.  Nobody uses IPA-like notation in USA. Please abandon the IPA-like notation and build off of truespel phonetics to enable kids and adults to learn their phonemes as early as learning the letters of the alphabet.  It can and should be that simple.See

This is a good start, the old phonetic system had no structure. This system has some of the structure of the human mind when it comes to English language. Since 2003 I have been trying to work out a writen language pronounciation for my 'book th Synaesthetic Thesaurus' which will be in print 2012 all going well. I needed a phonetic guide to written word pronounciation for my book. The system I came up with uses a similar system to this but is a little more complicated, and letter colour also plays a part in how pitch/tone/etc are adjusted. What I have done is completely independant of your system, yet we seem to  be both heading in the same direction. When my book is printed then  you can compare it.  For instance I take the letter 'H' to be a vowel, while your 'PBH' is my 'PBM'.

Thank you very much for the very useful site, and I highly appreciate very good work, well done

i'm a student at university of biology and we use the frensh language so; i find some diffecult in my research because they publish with english.i hope to study english it's help me and it's so useful in our life this langage

Hi Jonatan

Thanks for your comment. We've relaunched the chart with the /ʊə/ sound which was previously missing. This is available as an iPad app and will also be updated here soon.

Notwithstanding the letter Y in written English, phonetically speaking isn't the phoneme /j/ the same as /"ee"/ (the long E sound, as in "green") ?So, for example, the word "yes" would be /"ee"es/ instead of /jes/.Or is there a subtle difference in pronunciation that I am missing?This came to my attention because the Korean language, which has a phonetic alphabet, has what English-speakers know as the "y" sound, but they recognize it as a simple vowel.


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