IPA phoneme /tʃ/

From Teflpedia



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]

  • 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]

  • As "tch": ditch - hitch - itch - pitch - slitch - switch - twitch - unhitch[1]
  • righteous /ˈraɪtʃəs/
  • wretched /ˈretʃɪd/
  • Spelling anomaly
Czech /tʃek/


  • check - cheque - Czech; which - witch


/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]

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.


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.


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

See also[edit]

External links[edit]