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What is the phonetic sounds for "TH" and "WH" and "QH"

(8 Posts)
stressed2007 Mon 24-May-10 11:38:25

Hi. Is there a site on which you can listen to phonetic sounds?

What is "th"? Is it "th" as in the sound at the beginning of the word "thank you" or is it "the" sound?

Is "wh" the same sound as "W"?

and I think I know what "Qu" is but what sound is "Q"?

Thanks very much

Bucharest Mon 24-May-10 11:45:06

"th" can be voiced as in "the" or unvoiced as in "think". The phonetic symbols are different, the former is a sort of back slopey "d" shape with a line through it, while the latter is a Greek "theta" symbol (I think it's called)(can't find them on my keyboard, if you google IPA International Phonetic Alphabet they'll be on there, and I imagine there's a site where you can listen to the sounds as well)

"W" is /w/ Acoustically a "wh" as in "when/where" etc will be slightly different to a "w" as in "was" or "were"but unless you're studying English phonetics at a university level it won't matter. (adding a "h" makes it more breathy/aspirated)

"Q" is /kw/ There is no separate phonetic symbol because as a sound it's just a /k/ plus a /w/

Lotkinsgonecurly Mon 24-May-10 11:52:42

Have a look at, everything is on there. Great site from beginners to reading alone. Is American but other than z all fairly similar.

DaftApeth Mon 24-May-10 12:01:01

If you google 'english phonetic alphabet', you will get lots of differnt charts. If you need to know about english phonetics, I would only use english sources as the examples given for american english could be confusing (although have not read starfall and could be completely wrong grin)

Different people will pronounce one sound diffrently. For example, I would pronounce the 'wh' in 'when' as a /w/

Sounds are classified phonetically inlots of different ways i.e. how they are produced - fricative/plosive,voiced/voiceless, where the are produce - front/back of mouth, etc,

DaftApeth Mon 24-May-10 12:10:02

Here is a chart of the International phonetic alphabet.

Although I'm not sure how useful it will be. It has changed a bit from the one I used at uni! Phonetics was never my strong point - as pointed out by my phonetics lecturer grin

maverick Mon 24-May-10 12:28:22

Two useful resources:

Comprehensive Alphabet Code chart f

How to say the sounds:


TheHeathenOfSuburbia Mon 24-May-10 12:58:42

On alphablocks grin ...Q doesn't make any sound unless it has U with it. Surely that settles it?!

DejMar Sun 06-Sep-15 02:35:29

In most English words the digraph <th> at the beginning of a word or syllable and followed by a vowel represents the voiced dental fricative /ð/ (this, that, another), or when the digraph is preceded or followed by a consonant it represents the voiceless fricative /θ/ (through, thwart, baths, earth). In a few words <th> can be silent /Ø/ (asthma).

The <wh> digraph in most dialects of English is pronounced as the labio-velar approximant /w/ (what, which, why) or, as the voiceless glottal fricative /h/ (who). Several words evolved from Old English that were originally spelled with the cluster <hw> had undergone a spelling change (hw → wh). In some dialects, for many of those words, the sound /hw/ has been retained.

The diagraph <qu>, especially at the beginning of words, most often denotes the cluster /kw/ (quick, queen, squat), but may also represents the voiceless velar stop /k/ (croquet, toque). Some loanwords have entered English where the q is not followed by a u. For those of Turkish, Persian or Arabic origin the letter often represents the voiceless velar stop or plosive /k/ (qabal, qat, qindar); and for those of Chinese origin the letter often represents the voiceless palato-alveolar affricative /tʃ/ (qi, qigong, qin).

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