Decoding exercises: "ch"

From Teflpedia


chef /ʃef/


choir /ˈkwaɪər/

chair /tʃeər/

In English "ch" normally corresponds to the IPA phonetic symbol /tʃ/ in words like "church" or "match". Many words have "ch" sounding /k/ (such as choir, of Greek origin) and words derived from French may have a /ʃ/ sound, such as champagne.

IPA vowels
æ ɑː
trap father - start
dress face square
ɪ ɪə
kit fleece near
ɒ əʊ ɔː
lot goat taught
ʊ ʊə
foot goose mature
juː jʊə
cute cure
ʌ ə ɜː
strut comma nurse
price mouth choice
IPA consonants
Normal sound: /b, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, z/
 ʃ  ŋ
show church sing
ʒ  j 
usual judge you
θ ð s
think that see
IPA Stress
ˈ Primary stress
hotel /həʊˈtel/
ˌ Secondary stress
IPA Syllabification
. nitrate /ˈnaɪ.treɪt/, night-rate /ˈnaɪt.reɪt/

As /tʃ/[edit]

  • as "ch": 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
  • as "tch": catch - kitchen - match - pitch - stretch - switch - watch

As /k/[edit]

  • anchor - architecture - archive - chaos - character - charisma - chemical - chemistry - choir - Christian - Christopher - chrome - echo - headache - mechanism - Michael - orchestra - psychology - scheduleAmE - scheme - school - stomach - technique - technology
Variant spellings
  • mic - mike (truncations of "michrophone")

As /ʃ/[edit]

  • brochure - champagne - chauffeur - chef - Chicago - machine - Michelle - Michigan - moustacheBrE - mustacheAmE - parachute - scheduleBrE

Homophones: cache - cash

Silent "ch"[edit]

  • silent "ch": yacht /jɒt/

Variant pronunciations[edit]

  • schedule: /ˈʃedjuːl,BrE ˈskedʒuːlAmE/

As /dʒ/[edit]

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

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit]

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


Many Spanish speakers will pronounce "ch" just like in Spanish, i.e. /tʃ/. This is particularly true of /ʃ/ (as in champagne) because this sound does not exist in Spanish.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]