Consonant Chart

American English Consonants and Example Words



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Click on individual phonemes for additional words and sample audio.

  PLACE OF ARTICULATION
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MANNER OF ARTICULATION VOICING
Two Lips


Bilabial

Lip and teeth


Labiodental

Between the teeth

Dental

Tongue and tooth ridge

Alveolar
Retroflexed tongue


Hard palate

Palatal

Soft palate


Velar
Glottal



STOP voiceless
/p/ pill     /t/ till     /k/ kill  
voiced /b/ bill     /d/ dill     /g/ gill  
FRICATIVE voiceless   /f/ fin /θ/ thin /s/ sin   /ʃ/ shin   /h/ hit
voiced   /v/ vie /ð/ the /z/ zero   /ʒ/ vision    
AFFRICATES voiceless           /tʃ/ chair    
voiced           /dʒ/ age    
NASALS voiced /m/ map     /n/ nap     /ŋ/ rang  
LIQUIDS voiced       /l/ led /r/ red      
GLIDES voiced /w/ wet         /j/ yet    
/p/
Place of Articulation Bilabial: You make the sound with two lips; the bottom lip touching the top lip
Manner of Articulation Stop: When the air is held before being released
Example Words   initial pear, pin, penny
mid octopus, zipper,important
final desktop, kidnap,trip
/b/
Place of Articulation Bilabial: You make the sound with two lips; the bottom lip touching the top lip
Manner of Articulation Stop: When the air is held before being released
Example Words initial Baby,boot, bread
mid lobby, robot, umbrella
final tube, grab, globe
/f/
Place of Articulation Labiodental: Your bottom lip is touching the top teeth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial faculty, feeling, floor
mid confirm, define, harmful
final wolf, leaf, laugh
/v/
Place of Articulation Labiodental: Your bottom lip is touching the top teeth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial vacuum, view, vote
mid festival, level, silver
final love, olive, remove
/m/
Place of Articulation Bilabial: You make the sound with two lips; the bottom lip touching the top lip
Manner of Articulation Nasal: A sound where the air is released through the nose
Example Words initial magazine, mint, mood
mid pajamas, camel, woman
final webcam, swim, alarm
/w/
Place of Articulation Bilabial: You make the sound with two lips; the bottom lip touching the top lip
Manner of Articulation Glide: Consonants that involve only a slight narrowing of the vocal tract
Example Words initial water, work, wine
mid always, nowhere, reward
final  
/t/
Place of Articulation Alveolar: Your tongue tip is touching the little ridge up behind the teeth; you start your tongue at the teeth and move it backwards continuing the touch, you will feel a little ridge back behind the teeth
Manner of Articulation Stop: When the air is held before being released
Example Words initial tea, tuna, talk
mid cotton, guitar, hotel
final hat, sit, cut
/d/
Place of Articulation Alveolar: Your tongue tip is touching the little ridge up behind the teeth; you start your tongue at the teeth and move it backwards continuing the touch, you will feel a little ridge back behind the teeth
Manner of Articulation Stop: When the air is held before being released
Example Words initial dark, dinner, dentist
mid thursday, wedding, spider
final seafood, ride, loud
/s/
Place of Articulation Alveolar: Your tongue tip is touching the little ridge up behind the teeth; you start your tongue at the teeth and move it backwards continuing the touch, you will feel a little ridge back behind the teeth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial soup, city, slow
mid listen, pencil, fossil
final class, address, horse
/z/
Place of Articulation Alveolar: Your tongue tip is touching the little ridge up behind the teeth; you start your tongue at the teeth and move it backwards continuing the touch, you will feel a little ridge back behind the teeth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial zebra, zoo, zero
mid amazing, museum, gymnasium
final potatoes, apologize, shoes
/l/
Place of Articulation Alveolar: Your tongue tip is touching the little ridge up behind the teeth; you start your tongue at the teeth and move it backwards continuing the touch, you will feel a little ridge back behind the teeth
Manner of Articulation Liquid: A sound that is released with continuous air but little friction
Example Words initial language, lunch,loyal
mid ability, ceiling, complicate
final gentle, well, beautiful
/r/
Place of Articulation Retroflexed: Your tongue is pulled back and bunched, sometimes people even curl the tip of the tongue back
Manner of Articulation Liquid: A sound that is released with continuous air but little friction.
Example Words initial rock, roll, river
mid carry, minority, territory
final cure, fair, cheer
/k/
Place of Articulation Velar: As you go back to the very back of your mouth, you get to the velum; this is the area that the back of your tongue goes up to touch the velum
Manner of Articulation Stop: When the air is held before being released
Example Words initial cat, kite, candy
mid breakfast, donkey, uncle
final duck, lick, book
/g/
Place of Articulation Velar: As you go back to the very back of your mouth, you get to the velum; this is the area that the back of your tongue goes up to touch the velum
Manner of Articulation Stop: When the air is held before being released
Example Words initial gate, good, ghost
mid foggy, sugar, magnet
final leg, frog, egg
/h/
Place of Articulation Glottal: You have this sound in words like uh-oh. It shows up in words like ‘cotton or button’ where the /t/s do not quite sound like /t/s; they just sound like something is stopping, and that’s a glottal.
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial hand, house, whole
mid unhappy, rehearsal, anyhow
final  
/n/
Place of Articulation Alveolar: Your tongue tip is touching the little ridge up behind the teeth; you start your tongue at the teeth and move it backwards continuing the touch, you will feel a little ridge back behind the teeth
Manner of Articulation Nasal: A sound where the air is released through the nose
Example Words initial now, neck, knees
mid dinner, planet, sponge
final run, plane, vitamin
/θ/
Place of Articulation Dental: You use the teeth. The tongue goes slightly between the teeth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial thank, theory, thesis
mid marathon, birthday, mathematics
final earth, fifth, math
/ð/
Place of Articulation Dental: You use the teeth. The tongue goes slightly between the teeth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial they, therefore, thus
mid bother, whether, rhythm
final breathe, soothe, teethe
/ʃ/
Place of Articulation Palatal: If you go back further than your tongue tip can actually reach, the middle of your tongue comes up and touches or close to touches areas at the top of your mouth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial shape, shirt, Chevy
mid emotion, musician, cashier
final selfish, brush, mustache
/ʒ/
Place of Articulation Palatal: If you go back further than your tongue tip can actually reach, the middle of your tongue comes up and touches or close to touches areas at the top of your mouth
Manner of Articulation Fricative: When the air is released continuously through narrow openings so friction is created
Example Words initial  
mid measure, casual,
final  
/tʃ/
Place of Articulation Palatal: If you go back further than your tongue tip can actually reach, the middle of your tongue comes up and touches or close to touches areas at the top of your mouth
Manner of Articulation Affricate: A combination sound (stop+fricative), where the air is first stopped then released with friction
Example Words initial chair, chat, church
mid future, adventure, kitchen
final beach, couch, catch
/dʒ/
Place of Articulation Palatal: If you go back further than your tongue tip can actually reach, the middle of your tongue comes up and touches or close to touches areas at the top of your mouth
Manner of Articulation Affricate: A combination sound (stop+fricative), where the air is first stopped then released with friction
Example Words initial join, gym, geography
mid danger, major, surgeon
final average, large, village
/j/
Place of Articulation Palatal: If you go back further than your tongue tip can actually reach, the middle of your tongue comes up and touches or close to touches areas at the top of your mouth
Manner of Articulation Glide: Consonants that involve only a slight narrowing of the vocal tract
Example Words initial use, yours, year
mid kayak, lawyer, papaya
final  
/ŋ/
Place of Articulation Velar: As you go back to the very back of your mouth, you get to the velum; this is the area that the back of your tongue goes up to touch the velum
Manner of Articulation Nasal: A sound where the air is released through the nose
Example Words initial
mid drink, angle, bankrupt
final evening, long, trunk