Diphthong Vowel Sounds

Diphthongs are long vowel sounds that start in one position of the mouth and end in another within the same syllable. Standard English pronunciation has 7 diphthong phonemes (some alphabets contain 8 phonemes, see below):

An eighth diphthong is included in many phonemic charts: /eə/, though this is considered a long monophthong vowel sound /ɛː/ in many charts including The Sound of English IPA chart. For more on this sound, see the long vowel sound page.

Diphthong Vowel Sound Spellings

Common spellings for each diphthong vowel sound are underlined below:

/ɪə/ zero, clear, beer
/ʊə/ cure, poor
/eɪ/ face, main, day
/əʊ/ home, grow, load
/ɔɪ/ coin, joy
/aʊ/ sound, town
/ʌɪ/ find, pie, cry