Decoding exercises: "ia"

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Revision as of 14:07, 9 October 2018 by Ghoti (talk | contribs) (Moving diamond)
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/

The sequence "ia" normally is part of two syllables (as in "material" or "bias") or the "i" modifies the sound of the previous letter as in "social". This page sets out some words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of how they can sound out more correctly the different sounds corresponding to words containing "ia".

Modified consonant + "ia"

The letters "c", "s" and "t" often change their sound when followed by an "i".

  • "cia" as /ʃə/: commercial, crucial, especially, financial, musician, official, politician, Patricia, racial, social, special
  • "sia" as /ʃə/: controversial
  • "ssia" as /ʃə/: Russia
  • "tia" as /ʃə/: essential, initial, initiative, potential, presidential, substantial
  • "cia" as /ʃiːeɪ/: appreciate, appreciation
  • "tia" as /ʃiːeɪ/: negotiate, negotiation
  • "cia" as /ʃiːeɪ/ or /siːeɪ/: associate, asociation
  • "sia" as /ʒə/ or /ʃə/: Malaysia, Tunisia
  • "sia" as /ʒə, ʃə/ or /ziːə/: Indonesia

As /ɪ/

  • carriage, marriage

As /jə/

  • As /jə/: Australia, Virginia, William
  • As /jə/ or /iːə/: California, Pennsylvania

As /ə/

  • Georgia, parliament

Two syllables

  • /aɪə/: bias, Brian, dialogue/dialog,AmE diamond, giant, liability, reliable, trial
  • /aɪæ/: Diana, Diane
  • /iːæ/: Indiana, Louisiana, maniac, piano
  • /iːeɪ/: variation
  • /iːɪ/: foliage
  • /iːə/
  • Ending in "ia": Austria, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cynthia, Colombia, India, mania, Maria, Syria, Zambia
  • Other: brilliant, civilian, familiar, historian, immediate, industrial, material, variable
  • /aɪə/ or /iːə/: via


  • appropriate /əˈprəʊpriːeɪt/ (v.) /əˈprəʊpriːət/ (adj.)

Variant pronunciations

  • "cia" as /ʃiːeɪ/ or /siːeɪ/: associate, asociation
  • "sia" as /ʒə/ or /ʃə/: Malaysia, Tunisia
  • "sia" as /ʒə, ʃə/ or /ziːə/: Indonesia
  • "ia" as /aɪə/ or /iːə/: via
  • "ia" as /jə/ or /iːə/: California, Pennsylvania


See also

External links