With the English alphabet you lay the most important foundation for learning the English language. The following explanations and exercises will help you learn both the spelling and pronunciation of the 26 different letters. As the content on this page is very extensive, we recommend that you complete this learning unit in several steps. Downloading our free learning materials will also help you to practice the English alphabet anytime and anywhere. Good luck and have fun!
- Before you get started: Some helpful explanations
- The spelling and pronunciation of the individual letters
- Exercise 1: Write the correct letter!
- Exercise 2: Write the correct word!
- Exercise 3: Choose the spelled word!
- Exercise 4: Choose the correct phonetic spelling!
- The alphabet song: Sing along!
- Frequently asked questions about the alphabet
Before you get started: Some helpful explanations
Before you really get started and get familiar with the English alphabet, we have some helpful information for you:
The pronunciation of individual letters and letters within words
In this unit, we will show you how to pronounce each letter of the alphabet, as you would do for example when spelling something out. Note that the pronunciation of letters changes when they are pronounced as part of a word. A good example of this is the letter y, which, when pronounced as an individual letter, sounds like like /waɪ/. However, when "y" is a part of a word it will often be pronounced like /iː/ (usually when it comes at the end of a word, such as in family).
Differences between British and American English
When pronouncing the English alphabet, it is important to differentiate between British English and American English:
- For example, the letter "z" is pronounced differently in British English than in American English. An Englishman, Scotsman or Welshman would say /zɛd/ (zed), while an American would pronounce this letter as /ziː/ (zee).
- Another important difference is the pronunciation of the letter "r". This is pronounced as /ɑː/ (aa) in British English and as /ɑr/ (arr) in American English.
In this lesson we will teach you the American pronunciation of the individual letters!
The letters in Phonetic Transcription
In this lesson you will find the phonetic transcription of each letter (for example / waɪ / is the transcription of how to pronounce "y"). Learning the phonetic transcription of the letters will help you learn the pronunciation of the alphabet faster as well as remember it better. The phonetic spelling of the individual letters uses the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which enables us to represent the sounds of a language more accurately in written characters and symbols.
The spelling and pronunciation of the individual letters
Discover the English alphabet and listen to the pronunciation of each letter. You can also practice your pronunciation by using the recording function!
B / b [biː]
E / e [iː]
G / g [dʒiː]
H / h [eɪtʃ]
I / i [aɪ]
J / j [dʒeɪ]
K / k [keɪ]
M / m [ɛm]
P / p [piː]
Q / q [kjuː]
S / s [ɛs]
V / v [viː]
W / w [ˈdʌbəl juː]
X / x [ɛks]
Exercise 1: Write the correct letter!
Listen to the individual letters and then enter the appropriate letter in the text field next to it. Then confirm your entry.
Exercise 2: Write the correct word!
Listen to the spelled word as much as you need to and then enter the correct word in the text box next to it.
Exercise 3: Choose the spelled word!
Listen to the spelled word as much as you need to and then choose the correct word.
Exercise 4: Choose the correct phonetic spelling!
Listen to the letter and select the correct phonetic transcription.
The alphabet song: Sing along!
Listen to the Alphabet Song to help you remember the letters!
Frequently asked questions about the alphabet
Find out what other learners wanted to know!
How are the letters of the English alphabet pronounced?
You can learn the pronunciation of the individual letters by listening to our audio examples and recording yourself when you pronounce them. It is also worth learning and practicing the phonetic spelling of the individual letters. In addition, our alphabet song can help you memorize the pronunciation of the letters in a playful way!
What are the letters of the English alphabet?
The modern English alphabet uses letters from the Latin alphabet and consists of 26 letters, each with an upper and lower case variation. Unlike the German alphabet, there are no umlauts (such as "ü" or "ö") and, unlike the French alphabet, there are no accent marks. The lower case letters of the English alphabet are as follows: 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.
Why do I need to know the English alphabet?
Learning the English alphabet is the first and most basic step on your learning journey. Not only do you need to know the letters themselves, but also their pronunciation if you want to master the English language. This means that before dealing with more complicated topics such as pronunciation, listening comprehension, speaking, grammar or vocabulary, you should make sure that you can recite the alphabet in your sleep.
How can I remember the letters?
To memorize the pronunciation of each letter of the alphabet, listen to the audio files that we've provided as often as possible. You can also practice the pronunciation of the letters by using the exercises we have designed. Learning an easy-to-remember word alongside each letter might also help you better remember the individual letters themselves. Why not try using the sample words we've provided?
What is the best way for a child to learn the English alphabet?
Children often learn best with the help of music, pictures, and videos. For example, they can listen to our alphabet song or even use an existing melody to invent and sing their own song. In addition, it helps to write down the individual letters and invent funny mnemonics to help their pronunciation.
Why is it useful to learn phonetic transcription when I learn the English alphabet?
Which letters are pronounced differently in British and American English?
The letters "z" and "r" are pronounced differently in British and American English. An Englishman would say /zɛd/ (zed) for "z," while an American would pronounce this letter as /ziː/ (zee). However, if the letter "z" is part of a word (such as zoo), it is pronounced the same in both dialects. The letter "r" is pronounced as /ɑː/ (aa) in British English and as /ɑr/ (arr) in American English.