Approximant Consonant Sounds

Approximant consonant sounds are made by bringing two articulators close together without them touching as sound leaves the body. The result is a smooth, vowel-like sound. English pronunciation has 3 approximant phonemes (see also lateral approximant for /l/):

All of these approximant sounds are voiced, the vocal cords vibrate as the sound is produced. 

Approximant Spellings

Spellings for the approximant sounds are underlined below:

/w/: went, quite, once
/r/: road
/j/: yawn, fuel, few

Learn English IPA (44 sounds)

Use the interactive IPA chart and practice activities to master the sounds of English. 

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