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English Pronunciation: Consonants with H and QU

The consonants with H are: SH, CH, TH, WH, GH and PH. QU also has a unique pronunciation.

SH, CH and TH have distinct sounds. PH sounds like F. WH sounds like W (the H is silent). GH has 2 possibilites: an F sound as in "laugh," or silence, as in "light." The silent GH is the most common. QU sounds like "KW" as a first letter and "K" as a final letter (spelled "que"). We typically do not spell with "q" only, though we use words from other languages that do this, i.e. "Iraq."

Use the lists below to be sure you are not confusing single letters with H-combination letters. Notice that CH is like a J sound (which can be spelled with G or DGE), but with CH you push the air out. In other words, J is a soft sound, and CH is a bigger sound.

VIDEO: Listen to the Teacher

1. A. sip   
B. ship

2. A. see
B. she

3. A. so
B. show 

4. A. sort
B. short

5. A. bass
B. bash

6. A. class
B. clash

7. A. jip
B. chip

8. A. gin
B. chin

9. A. jest
B. chest

10. A. bridge
B. birch

11. A. sludge

B. such

12. A. tank
B. thank

13. A. tat
B. that

14. A. tot
B. thought

15. A. pat
B. path

16. A. wit  
B. with

17. A. fit
B. fifth
Practice J, CH, SH: jip, chip, ship and gin, chin, shin
Words with GH as an F sound: laugh, cough, enough, rough, tough
Words with silent GH: light, sight, might, tight, right, weight, freight
Words with PH: phone, photo, pharmacy, phase, philosophy
Words with QU: quick, quiet, quail, quest, plaque

TH has two sounds not discussed here. Get more TH practice. Also, study other consonant combinations (br, dr, pl ...)

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Practice Tip:
You can also use the list repeatedly with an instructor. Your instructor writes down a list of answers, then speaks the words to you.
You write your answers and see if they match. You can also reverse this to check your pronunciation. You write down a set of answers, then speak.
See if your instructor was able to hear you correctly.

Get advice from an instructor: try online English Prnonunciation classes on Skype or local English Pronunciation classes in Seattle. 

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