Phonemes Examples


Phonemes refer to the 44 distinct sounds in the English language that are used to build words. While there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, there are 44 distinct sounds forms by those letters.

Examples of Phonemes:

In addition to the 26 unique sounds made by the letters of the alphabet, there are short and long vowel sounds, consonant blends, and some other vowel sounds that make up the 4 phonemes.Below is a chart of phonemes.

Phoneme (sound)

Graphemes (letter(s) that most commonly make the sound)



b, bb

ball, blubber


d, dd, ed

dog, ladder, pulled


f, ph

Fish, phone


g, gg

Go, egg





j, g, ge, dge

j, gel, cage, edge


c, k, ck, ch, cc, que

cow, kick, chick, school, access, pique


l, ll

Leaf, dill


m, mm, mb

Monkey, hammer, lamb


n, nn, kn, gn

New, banner, know, gnome


p, pp

pink, pepper


r, rr, wr

Red, mirror, wrong


s, se, ss, c, ce, sc

Sun, case, bless, cede, grace, scissors


t, tt, ed

turtle, butter, worked


v, ve

Violin, give





y, i

yak, union


z, zz, ze, s, se, x

Zebra, buzz, daze, fase, is, xylophone

/th/ (not voiced)


thing, thumb

/th/ (voiced)


then, weather


ng, n

wing, think


sh, ss, ch, ti, ci

Sheep, passion, chef, lotion, official


ch, tch

Church, catch


ge, s

massage, measure

/wh/ (with breath)


When, what, where

/a/ (short vowel)

a, au

cat, laugh

/e/ (short vowel)

e, ea

red, head

/i/ (short vowel)



/o/ (short vowel)

o, a, au, aw, ough

pot, want, caught, awful, ought

/u/ (short vowel)

u, o

umbrella, won

/ ā / (long vowel)

a, a_e, ay, ai, ey, ei

lazy, cake, pay, paid, whey, weigh

/ ē / (long vowel)

e, e_e, ea, ee, ey, ie, y

we, cede, please, breeze, key, field, baby

/ ī /

i, i_e, igh, y, ie

bicycle, hive, high, by, pie

/ ō /

o, o_e, oa, ou, ow

motion, hope, boat, soul, bowl

/ ū /

u, u_e, ew, ue

human, mule, view, hue

/oo/ (short)

oo, u, oul

hook, put, would

/ ō ō /

oo, u, ou, u_e

mood, youth, Ruth


ow, ou, ou_s

how, out, mouse


oi, oy

boil, boy




/ ā (r)/

air, ear, are

chair, bear, hare


irr, ere, eer

mirror, here, beer


or, ore, oor

or, more, boor


ur, ir, er, ear, or, ar

Burn, birth, fern, earn, work, collar

Related Links:
Grammar Examples