What happens when a word ends in /t/ and the next word begins with a /j/ sound?
How do we pronounce words beginning with /h/ in natural spoken English?
How do we pronounce words beginning with /h/ in natural spoken English?
How do we pronounce 'have' when it's an auxiliary verb?
What happens when one word ends in a /d/ sound and the next one begins in /b/?
How the phrase 'would you…?' is pronounced in natural English
What happens when a word ends in a /t/ sound and the next word starts with /t/?
How do we pronounce 'from' in natural English?
What happens when one word ends in /s/ and the next begins in /j/ or /ʃ/?
How do fluent speakers of English pronounce the word 'been' in natural speech? Tim explains…
- Tim looks at what the linking /j/ is – and when it appears
- Tim demonstrates two different ways to pronounce the word 'the'
- What are plosives – and how do fluent speakers of English pronounce them? Tim explains…
- How do fluent speakers of English pronounce the word 'can' in natural speech? Tim explains…
- What happens when a word that ends with a /d/ sound is followed by a word beginning with a /g/ or a /k/? Tim explains…
- What happens in pronunciation when one word ends in a consonant sound and the next word begins with a vowel sound? Tim explains…
- How do fluent speakers pronounce 'was' in natural speech? Tim explains…
- How do fluent speakers of English pronounce the word 'and' in natural speech? Tim explains…
- How do fluent speakers pronounce 'have to' when it's a modal verb of obligation? Tim explains…
- What happens when a word or syllable ending in the sound /nd/ is followed by a word or syllable starting with a consonant sound? Tim explains…
- Tim looks at an aspect of connected speech called 'elision of /d/'.
- Tim looks at an aspect of connected speech called assimilation of /n/ followed by /p/.
- Tim shows us how to join words together in spoken English with a linking /w/
- Tim's looking at an aspect of spoken English called 'schwa'
- Tim's talking about sounds that you can hear, even when they don't – or shouldn't – exist!
- What happens in everyday speech when a /t/ sound comes in between two consonant sounds?
- What happens when one word ends in an /s/ sound and the next word begins with an /s/ sound?
- Tim is looking at an aspect of connected speech called linking /r/.
- Tim talks pronunication: words that end with a /t/ sound
- This is the eighth diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the seventh diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the sixth diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the fifth diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the fourth diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the third diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the second diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the first diphthong programme in our series of 45 pronunciation videos that explore the sounds of English.
- This is the introductory video to our The sounds of English series
Pronunciation Guide (American English Dictionary)
All pronunciations in the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary are American pronunciations.
In the written pronunciations, the following symbols are used:
If more than one written pronunciation is given for a word, they are all acceptable, but the first form given is the most common. Not all possible American pronunciations are shown in this dictionary.
For example, some speakers only use the sound /ɔ/ when it is followed by /r/ (as in horse /hɔrs/) and use /ɑ/ in all other words that are shown with /ɔ/ in this dictionary, so that they pronounce both caught and cot as /kɑt/.
/ ˈ / shows the strong stress in a word or group of words. It is in front of the part (or syllable) that you say most strongly. For example, any /ˈɛni/ has a stress on the first syllable; depend /dɪˈpɛnd/ has a stress on the second syllable.
/ ˌ / shows a weaker (or secondary) stress. Many longer words have a syllable that is pronounced with a secondary stress as well as a syllable with strong (or main) stress. So in the word pronunciation /prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃn/, the main stress is on the syllable /ˈeɪ/, and the secondary stress is on the syllable /ˌnʌn/.
Key to pronunciation | Oxford English Dictionary
Home How to use the OED Key to pronunciation
To hear any pronunciation spoken aloud, click the blue play icon to the left of each transcription.
The pronunciations given are those in use among educated urban speakers of standard English in Britain and the United States. While avoiding strongly regionally or socially marked forms, they are intended to include the most common variants for each word. The keywords given in this key are to be understood as pronounced in such speech.
Words particularly associated with other parts of the English-speaking world are also given pronunciations in the appropriate global variety of English. Keys and details of each model can be found here.
|ã||æ̃||fin de siècle|
ᵻ represents free variation between /ɪ/ and /ə/
ᵿ represents free variation between /ʊ/ and /ə/
|x||(Scottish) loch /lɒx/|
|ɬ||(Welsh) penillion /pɛˈnɪɬɪən/|
The consonants l, m, and n can take on the function of a vowel in some unstressed syllables. It should generally be clear when this interpretation is intended, but in cases of potential ambiguity, the consonant symbol appears with a diacritic, as l̩, m̩ and n̩, as e.g. meddle /ˈmɛdl/, meddling /ˈmɛdl̩ɪŋ/.
After a vowel, U.S. English can have /r/ regardless of the sound which follows, whereas British English retains the /r/ only when it is followed by a vowel. Compare U.S. mar /mɑr/, marring /ˈmɑrɪŋ/ with British mar /mɑː/, marring /ˈmɑːrɪŋ/
Between vowels, except at the start of a stressed syllable, U.S. English has /d/ where British English has /t/. Compare U.S. butter /ˈbədər/, and waiting /ˈweɪdɪŋ/ (as against wait /weɪt/) with British butter /ˈbʌtə/, waiting /ˈweɪtɪŋ/, wait /weɪt/.
P5: Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange
This chapter defines a module for encoding lexical resources of all kinds, in particular human-oriented monolingual and multilingual dictionaries, glossaries, and similar documents.
The elements described here may also be useful in the encoding of computational lexica and similar resources intended for use by language-processing software; they may also be used to provide a rich encoding for wordlists, lexica, glossaries, etc. included within other documents.
Dictionaries are most familiar in their printed form; however, increasing numbers of dictionaries exist also in electronic forms which are independent of any particular printed form, but from which various displays can be produced.
Both typographically and structurally, print dictionaries are extremely complex. Such lexical resources are moreover of interest to many communities with different and sometimes conflicting goals.
As a result, many general problems of text encoding are particularly pronounced here, and more compromises and alternatives within the encoding scheme may be required in the future.
36 Two problems are particularly prominent.
First, because the structure of dictionary entries varies widely both among and within dictionaries, the simplest way for an encoding scheme to accommodate the entire range of structures actually encountered is to allow virtually any element to appear virtually anywhere in a dictionary entry.
It is clear, however, that strong and consistent structural principles do govern the vast majority of conventional dictionaries, as well as many or most entries even in more ‘exotic’ dictionaries; encoding guidelines should include these structural principles.
We therefore define two distinct elements for dictionary entries, one (entry) which captures the regularities of many conventional dictionary entries, and a second (entryFree) which uses the same elements, but allows them to combine much more freely. It is however recommended that entry be used in preference to entryFree wherever possible.
These elements and their contents are described in sections 9.2 The Structure of Dictionary Entries, 9.6 Unstructured Entries, and 9.4 Headword and Pronunciation References.
Second, since so much of the information in printed dictionaries is implicit or highly compressed, their encoding requires clear thought about whether it is to capture the precise typographic form of the source text or the underlying structure of the information it presents.
Since both of these views of the dictionary may be of interest, it proves necessary to develop methods of recording both, and of recording the interrelationship between them as well.
Users interested mainly in the printed format of the dictionary will require an encoding to be faithful to an original printed version.
However, other users will be interested primarily in capturing the lexical information in a dictionary in a form suitable for further processing, which may demand the expansion or rearrangement of the information contained in the printed form.
Further, some users wish to encode both of these views of the data, and retain the links between related elements of the two encodings. Problems of recording these two different views of dictionary data are discussed in section 9.5 Typographic and Lexical Information in Dictionary Data, together with mechanisms for retaining both views when this is desired.
To deal with this complexity, and in particular to account for the wide variety of linguistic contexts within which a dictionary may be designed, it can be necessary to customize or change the schema by providing more restriction or possibly alternate content models for the elements defined in this chapter. Section 9.3.2 Grammatical Information illustrates this with the provision of a closed set of values for grammatical descriptors.
This chapter contains a large number of examples taken from existing print dictionaries; in each case, the original source is identified. In presenting such examples, we have tried to retain the original typographic appearance of the example as well as presenting a suggested encoding for it.
Where this has not been possible (for example in the display of pronunciation) we have adopted the transliteration found in the electronic edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
Also, the middle dot in quoted entries is rendered with a full stop, while within the sample transcriptions hyphenation and syllabification points are indicated by a vertical bar |, regardless of their appearance in the source text.
Overall, dictionaries have the same structure of front matter, body, and back matter familiar from other texts. In addition, this module defines entry, entryFree, and superEntry as component-level elements which can occur directly within a text division or the text body.
The following tags can therefore be used to mark the gross structure of a printed dictionary; the dictionary-specific tags are discussed further in the following section.
- text contains a single text of any kind, whether unitary or composite, for example a poem or drama, a collection of essays, a novel, a dictionary, or a corpus sample.
- front (front matter) contains any prefatory matter (headers, abstracts, title page, prefaces, dedications, etc.) found at the start of a document, before the main body.
- body (text body) contains the whole body of a single unitary text, excluding any front or back matter.
- back (back matter) contains any appendixes, etc. following the main part of a text.
- div (text division) contains a subdivision of the front, body, or back of a text.
- entry contains a single structured entry in any kind of lexical resource, such as a dictionary or lexicon.
- entryFree (unstructured entry) contains a single unstructured entry in any kind of lexical resource, such as a dictionary or lexicon.
- superEntry groups a sequence of entries within any kind of lexical resource, such as a dictionary or lexicon which function as a single unit, for example a set of homographs.
Comparison of English dictionaries
These tables compare modern and notable English dictionaries, split by market segment. Unless noted after the edition number, all are single-volume works.
Number of entries
Note that the publisher's definition of an entry differs. Some publishers count derivatives as separate entries while others count expressions consisting of more than one word as separate entries. The number of entries is basically a marketing term that should never be used to compare dictionaries.
As an example, the 6th Edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (SOED6, 2007) contains approximately:
- 104,000 entries (where only the word “back” is listed.)
- 125,000 entries when parts of speech are separately listed (“back” is listed 5 times, 2 times as a noun, as an adjective, as a verb, and also as an adverb.)
- 172,000 entries when derivatives are also counted.
- 600,000 entries when different meanings (12 meanings for the first “back” noun listing alone) and phrases (at the back of, back and edge, behind one's back, etc.) are also counted.
The 2nd Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) includes more historical entries because it also lists words that have been obsolete for centuries (back to the 7th century) due to changes in meaning and orthography. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary only covers usage back to the 18th century.
Learner's dictionaries typically contain 40,000 to 50,000 words, which is half to one-third of the current usage, but still claim hundreds of thousands of “entries”.
These dictionaries generally aim for extensive coverage of the language for native speakers. They typically only cover one variety of English, either British or American.
|American Heritage Dictionary (AHD)||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt||1969||5th (ISBN 0-547-04101-2)||2011||2,074||70,000||American||Diacritical|
|The Chambers Dictionary||Chambers Harrap||1872||13th (ISBN 9781473602250)||2014||1,920||62,500||British||Diacritical|
|Collins English Dictionary||HarperCollins||1979||12th (ISBN 9780007522743)||2014||2,340||100,000||British||IPA|
|Concise Oxford English Dictionary (COED)||Oxford University Press||1911||12th (ISBN 9780199601080)||2011||1,728||240,000||British||IPA|
|The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (MWD)||Merriam-Webster||1828||18th (ISBN 978-0-87779-668-8)||2016||720 (trade), 960 (mass-market)||75,000||American||Diacritical|
|New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD)||Oxford University Press||2001||3rd (ISBN 0-19-539288-4)||2010||2,096||350,000||American||Diacritical|
|Oxford Dictionary of English||Oxford University Press||1998||3rd (ISBN 0-19-957112-0)||2010||2,112||355,000||British||IPA|
|Oxford English Dictionary (OED)||Oxford University Press||1895||2nd (20 vols., ISBN 0-19-861186-2)||1989||21,730||291,500||British||IPA|
|Random House Webster's||Random House||1966||2nd (rev., ISBN 978-0375425998)||2002||2,256||315,000||American||Diacritical|
|Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (SOED)||Oxford University Press||1933||6th (2 vol., ISBN 9780199206872)||2007||3,804||125,000||British||IPA|
|Webster's Third New International Dictionary (W3)||Merriam-Webster||1961||3rd (ISBN 0-87-779201-1)||2002||2,783||263,000||American||Diacritical|
These dictionaries generally contain fewer entries (and fewer definitions per entry) than their full-size counterparts but may contain additional material, such as biographical or geopolitical information, that would be useful to a college student. They may be revised more often and thus contain more up to date usage. Sometimes the term collegiate or college is used merely to indicate a physically smaller, more economically printed dictionary.
|American Heritage College Dictionary||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt||2002||4th (ISBN 0-547-24766-4)||2010||1,664||American||Diacritical|
|Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary||Merriam-Webster||1898||11th (ISBN 0-8777-9809-5)||2003||1,664||165,000||American||Diacritical|
|Webster's New World College Dictionary||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt||1953||5th||2014||1,736||163,000||American||Diacritical|
'Learner's dictionary' redirects here.
For other uses, see Monolingual learner's dictionary and Advanced learner's dictionary
These dictionaries generally contain fewer entries than full-size or collegiate dictionaries but contain additional information that would be useful to a learner of English, such as more extensive usage notes, example sentences or phrases, collocations, and both British and American pronunciations (sometimes multiple variants of the latter). In addition, definitions are usually restricted to a simpler core vocabulary than that expected of a native speaker. All use the IPA to indicate pronunciation.
|Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary||Cambridge University Press||2003||4th (ISBN 9781107619500)||2013||1,856||140,000||British|
|Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary||Collins Cobuild||1987||9th (ISBN 9780008253219)||2018||1,904||British|
|Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English||Pearson-Longman||1978||6th (ISBN 9781447954194)||2014||2,224||165,000||British|
|Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners||Macmillan Education||2002||2nd (ISBN 9781405025263)||2012||1,748||British|
|Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's English Dictionary||Merriam-Webster||2008||2nd (ISBN 9780877797364)||2016||1,994||160,000||American|
|Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary||Oxford University Press||1948||10th (ISBN 9780194799485)||2015||1,960||185,000||British|
- ^ Kaminski, Mariusz (2013). A History of the Chambers Dictionary. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 95–96.
- ^ The 2010 “4th edition” of The American Heritage College Dictionary (ISBN 0-547-24766-4) is the second revision of the original “4th edition” published in 2002; it was originally derived from the 4th edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, which was published in 2000.
- ^ Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary was originally published as Cambridge International Dictionary of English in 1995.