Decoding the letter N
Before /k/ or /g/ it normally represents /ŋ/ as in ink /ɪŋk/ or finger /fɪŋɡər/. In other cases "n" can optionally be pronounced /ŋ/ as in an alternative pronunciation of income as . There are no minimal pairs in which the difference is /nk/ and /ŋk/, or /ng/ and /ŋg/.
- Silent n: autumn - column - condemn - hymn - solemn
N in combinations
Main article: Decoding exercises: "ng"
- as /ŋ/: hang - hanged - hanger - hanging - hangs
- as /ŋg/: anger - finger - hungry
- as /ng/: See IPA phoneme /n/ § Lack of assimilation
- as /ŋk/: length - strength
- as /ndʒ/: angel - arrange - danger - orange
- as /n/: align - champagne - foreign - sign
- as /gn/: ignore - recognize - significant
- as /nj/: cognac - lasagnaAmE - lasagneBrE. See also IPA phonetic symbol [ɲ]
- as /n/:
- To make the vowel short (see Double consonants): connect - dinner - funny - tennis
- Prefix "in", with only one "n" pronounced: innovate - innumerable
- as /n.n/: meanness - nonnegotiable - unnecessary - unnoticed - unnumbered
Lack of assimilation
Normally "nc", "nk" and "nq" sound /ŋk/. For examples of /nk/ see IPA phoneme /n/ § Lack of assimilation.