How to pronounce ‘ng’

Listen to the following words. Do we always use the same pronunciation for ‘ng’?

sing       singer     finger      long     longer

Although all these words use the spelling ‘ng’, the pronunciation is not the same:

sing, singer, long: pronounced /ŋ/
finger, longer: pronounced /ŋg/

How do you decide whether to say /ŋ/ or /ŋg/?

  • /ŋ/ if ‘ng’ is at the end of a word or root word: e.g. sing, singer, thing
  • /ŋg/ in a comparative or superlative: .e.g. longer, longest.
  • /ŋg/ if ’ng’ is not at the end of the word or root: e.g. finger


Repeat the following:

/ŋ/ thing, exciting, hang, hanger, lovingly

/ŋg/ mango, stronger, strongest, anger, single


Decide whether each ‘ng’ should be said as /ŋ/ or /ŋg/:

A. Did you see him get angry about the tango competition?

B. Creating these angled shapes is tiring.

C. Interestingly, Angus went skiing in August.

D. These mangoes are going to get squashed.

E. We took much longer than the strongest team.

F. They were wrongly accused of speaking to the enemy.

G. The youngest angler won the tournament.

H. We sang along with the Hungarian choir.

A. /ŋg/, /ŋg/ B. /ŋ/, /ŋg/ /ŋ/ C. /ŋ/, /ŋg/, /ŋ/ D. /ŋg/, /ŋ/ E. /ŋg/, /ŋg/ F. /ŋ/, /ŋ/ G. /ŋg/, /ŋg/ H. /ŋ/, /ŋ/, /ŋg/