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.




Interactive phonemic chart
Submitted on 13 February, 2009 - 01:34

While I think this chart would be a good item for students to be able to access, I was surprised, when trying it out, that voiceless consonants (p, t, f) are here voiced.  When combining the sounds with diphthongs, for example, 'y' with 'ear' to make 'year', (sorry - can't do the phonemic symbols) there is little if any variation of sound between the consonant and the diphthong.  What we get sounds like 'year' x 2.

Margaret Osborne

Interactive Pronunciation Chart
Submitted on 13 February, 2009 - 17:49

I agree with the previous comment (p, t, k) here are voiced.  Very confusing!

Please could there be a clarification in meaning and use between the two words: phonetic and phonemic.  They are used here as if they mean the same thing.