Unvoiced palato-alveolar affricate

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church /ʧɜːrʧ/

Strict IPA


church / t͡ʃɜːr t͡ʃ/


church /tʃɜːrtʃ/

In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /tʃ/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "check", and the final one in "catch".

Strict IPA emphasises the fact that /tʃ/ is one phoneme: "teacher" is /ˈtiːt͡ʃər/ and "hotshot" is /ˈhɒtʃɒt/. The alternative is to use the syllable separator: /ˈtiː.tʃər/ and /ˈhɒt.ʃɒt/.

/tʃ/ is an unvoiced consonant; its voiced counterpart is IPA phoneme /dʒ/.

/tʃ/ is an affricate; its fricative counterpart is IPA phoneme /ʃ/.

Common words[edit | edit source]

  • Initial pronunciation of /tʃ/
As "ch": chain - chair - challenge - champion - chance - change - channel - chapter - charge - chart - chat - cheap - cheat - check - cheese - chess - chief - child - China - choice - choose - church
  • Final pronunciation of /tʃ/
As "ch": approach - beach - branch - church - coach - each - launch - lunch - much - reach - research - rich - search - speech - such - teach - touch - which
As "tch": attach - batch - catch - match - sketch - stretch - switch - watch
  • Pronunciation of /tʃ/ in "mid"-position
As "ch": achieve - exchange - purchase - Richard - teacher
As "tch": butcher - kitchen
As "tu": adventure - culture - feature - fortunate - furniture - future - picture - natural - situation
As "ti": suggestion - question

Uncommon words[edit | edit source]

  • As "tch": ditch - hitch - itch - pitch - slitch - switch - twitch - unhitch[1]
  • righteous /ˈraɪtʃəs/
  • wretched /ˈretʃɪd/
  • with 'c': cello - concerto - cappuccino - capriccio
  • Spelling anomaly
Czech /tʃek/

Homophones[edit | edit source]

  • check - cheque - Czech; which - witch

/t/+/ʃ/[edit | edit source]

/t/ and /ʃ/ can be two separate phonemes. For example, the pronunciation of "nutshell" is /ˈnʌt.ʃel/ and "nature" is pronounced /ˈneɪ.t͡ʃər/.

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit | edit source]

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following sections aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.

Spanish[edit | edit source]

In Spanish the letters "ll" and "y" sound similar to /dʒ/, /ʒ/ or /j/. The sound of these letters is never in final position. For this reason many students will "hear" /tʃ/ in words like orange or judge.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. See the lyrics of Munchkinland in The Wizard of Oz. Wendy’s Wizard of Oz, Munchkinland.