The English alphabet
The English alphabet consists of 26 letters:
- uppercase or capital letters: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z;
- lowercase or sentence case letters: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.
The phonetic transcriptions of these letters are always put into squared brackets [ ] and use letters and symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The IPA is used to tell you the pronunciation of a letter or a word. The symbol ":" means that you pronounce the vowel long.
What you see in these brackets  is only how you pronounce the letter on its own (for example when you spell a word or say the alphabet).
Within a word, you sometimes pronounce a letter differently.
Listen to the pronunciation and the spelling of words that start with the letters from the alphabet.
- A = [eɪ] (a-n-d, a-f-t-e-r, a-p-p-l-e)
- B = [biː] (b-a-n-a-n-a, b-a-t-h-r-o-o-m, b-o-y)
- C = [siː] (c-a-r, c-o-a-t, c-o-l-o-u-r)
- D = [diː] (d-o-g, d-r-e-a-m, d-o-l-l-a-r)
- E = [iː] (e-l-e-p-h-a-n-t, e-y-e, e-x-t-r-e-m-e)
- F = [ɛf] (f-i-n-g-e-r, f-o-u-r, f-i-r-e)
- G = [dʒiː] (g-i-r-a-f-f-e, g-i-r-l, g-r-e-e-n)
- H = [eɪtʃ] (h-o-t-e-l, h-a-p-p-y, h-o-l-i-d-a-y)
- I = [aɪ] (i-m-a-g-e, i-s-l-a-n-d, I-n-d-i-a-n-a)
- J = [dʒeɪ] (j-u-n-g-l-e, j-o-l-l-y, J-o-s-e-p-h-i-n-e)
- K = [keɪ] (k-a-n-g-a-r-o-o, k-o-a-l-a, k-a-r-a-t-e)
- L = [ɛl] (l-o-w, l-e-v-e-l, l-i-o-n)
- M = [ɛm] (m-o-t-h-e-r, m-o-m-e-n-t, m-e-s-s)
- N = [ɛn] (n-o, n-i-g-h-t, n-o-o-n)
- O = [oʊ] (o-l-d, o-b-j-e-c-t, o-a-t)
- P = [piː] (p-e-n-g-u-i-n-e, p-i-a-n-o, p-a-c-k-e-t)
- Q = [kjuː] (q-u-i-e-t, Q-u-e-e-n, q-u-o-t-e)
- R = [ɑr] (r-e-d, r-i-g-h-t, r-a-b-b-i-t)
- S = [ɛs] (s-t-r-o-n-g, s-e-v-e-n, s-i-l-v-e-r)
- T = [tiː] (t-e-a, t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d, t-w-o)
- U = [juː] (u-s-e, u-n-f-a-i-r, u-n-d-e-r)
- V = [viː] (v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n, v-e-r-y, v-a-m-p-i-r-e)
- W = [ˈdʌbəl juː] say: double-ju (w-e-s-t, w-o-r-m, w-h-i-t-e)
- X = [ɛks] (X-r-a-y, x-y-l-o-p-h-o-n-e, X-m-a-s)
- Y = [waɪ] (y-a-r-d, y-e-l-l-o-w, y-e-a-h)
- Z = [zɛd] in British English, [ziː] in American English (z-e-r-o, z-e-b-r-a, z-i-l-l-i-o-n)
Spell the following words. That means: pronounce every single letter on its own. Afterwards you can listen to the correct spelling.
Imagine you are on holiday and would like to check into a hotel. The receptionist asks "What's your name?". You tell them your name and they ask "How do you spell that?". In this situation you will have to pronounce every single letter, in the same way as it is displayed above. Here you can listen to a sample solution.
The alphabet song
An alphabet song is a song used to teach children the alphabet. This is one of the best-known English language alphabet songs:
Lyrics: (each line represents a measure, or four beats)
a-b-c-d-e-f-g, (the comma denotes a short pause) h-i-j-k-lmnop, (l-m-n-o spoken twice as quickly as rest of rhyme) q-r-s, t-u-v, (pause between s and t) w—x, y-and-z, (pause between x and y) (w and x last for two beats) Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me?
Click below to listen to the song: