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From Teflpedia

⟨ch⟩ is an English consonant digraph consisting of the letters C and H. The default pronunciation is the unvoiced palato-alveolar affricate /ʧ/, commonly known as a ch sound, though it can also be an unvoiced velar stop /k/ or a unvoiced palato-alveolar sibilant /ʃ/.

Pronunciations[edit | edit source]

As /tʃ/[edit | edit source]

This is the default pronunciation.

  • approach, beach, chair, challenge, change, charity, cheap, check, chief, child, choice, choose, church, each, launch, lunch, much, purchase, reach - research - rich - search - speech - teacher - touch, which

This also forms part of the trigraph ⟨tch⟩.

As /k/[edit | edit source]

These are mostly (but not all) Greek loanwords where the Greek letter chi is transliterated as ch:

anchor, architecture, archive, chaos, character, charisma, chemical, chemistry, choir, Christ, Christian, Christmas, Christopher, chrome, echo, headache, mechanism, Michael, oche, orchestra, psychology, stomach, technique, technology

NB: for the trigraph sch see sch.

Alternatively as /x/ unvoiced velar fricative[edit | edit source]

The following may be alternatively pronounced as an unvoiced velar fricative:

  • Bach, loch

As /ʃ/[edit | edit source]

Ch is pronounced like an unvoiced palato-alveolar sibilant /ʃ/ in many French loanwords derived from French.

  • brochure, champagne, chandelier, chauffeur, chef, Chicago, cliché, fuchsia, machine, Michelle, Michigan, moustacheBrE, mustacheAmE, parachute

Homophones: cache/cash

As /dʒ/[edit | edit source]

  • sandwich: /ˈsænwɪtʃ, ˈsænwɪdʒBrE/
  • spinach /ˈspɪnɪtʃ, ˈspɪnɪdʒBrE/
  • Greenwich /ˈgrɪnɪdʒ, ˈgrɪnɪtʃ, ˈgrenɪtʃ, ˈgrenɪdʒ/
  • Norwich /ˈnɒrɪdʒ, ˈnɒrɪtʃ/

As /h/[edit | edit source]

chutzpah (/ˈhʊtspə/ — alternatively /ˈxʊtspə/)

Silent ⟨ch⟩[edit | edit source]

Silent ⟨ch⟩: yacht /jɒt/.

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

Words that are not the standard pronunciation often have to be learnt as sightwords. These include chef, psychologist, etc.

References[edit | edit source]