I hope you’re well today and ready to learn all about the “f” sound in English.
Start by taking a look at the following words:
photo gift half laugh friend staff
As you can see, the “f” sound is spelt in four different ways: “f”, “ff”, “ph” and “gh”.
The standard “f” can be found at the beginning, at the end and in the middle of words.
- find, fantastic, future
- proof, reef
- life, after
It is quite a strong sound compared to “v”. However, note that the word “of” is pronounced “ov”.
Say aloud the following words:
off stuff cliff office coffee
They all contain “ff” because the vowel sound before the “ff” is short.
Did you know that most words containing “ph” are from Ancient Greek? It’s interesting, isn’t it?
This “ph” can be found at the beginning, at the end and in the middle of words.
- phone, pharmacy
- rough, graph
- alphabet, dolphin
Look at the following words which all contain the “-ugh” pattern and where this pattern is pronounced “f”:
rough cough enough laughter
Note that “ugh” is not always pronounced as “f”.
The voiceless “f” sound (a consonant fricative) is produced by stopping and releasing air between your bottom lip and the front side of your top teeth. Do not overproduce this sound by curling your bottom lip under your top teeth.