This pronunciation guide has been developed and approved by the USAN Council, and was revised at the USAN Council meeting, July 14, 2006, to facilitate pronunciation of USAN and will be used on all future Statements of Adoption.

Syllable designations are based upon phonetic considerations. A prime mark (′) follows the primary accent syllable; a double prime mark (″) follows any secondary accent syllable. All syllables are separated by a blank space. No diacritical marks are used.

Vowels, long-spelling designations in all syllables except the last syllable unless indicated otherwise:

  • a

    • ay
      (may)
  • e

    • ee
      (lee) same in last syllable also
  • i

    • eye
      when by itself as a syllable
    • ye
      when in conjunction with a consonant: lye
  • o

    • oh
      (when by itself as a syllable)
    • oe
      (when in conjunction with a consonant: toe)
  • u

    • ue
      (cue, cure) same in last syllable also
  • y

    • ee
      (opium, oh′ pee um)
    • eye
      (kanamycin, kanʺ a myeʹ sin)

Spelling designations in the last syllable: The vowels a, i and o assume long vowel sounds by the addition of an e at the end of the syllable.

  • - rate
  • - bite
  • - toe

Short vowel sounds

Short vowel sounds receive no special designation in any syllable.

  • a

    • bat, mat, patch
  • e

    • bed, met, therapy, teratoma
  • i

    • bit, tip, irritate
  • o

    • got, not, bought
  • u

    • but, cut, wool

Digraphs

  • ah

    • father
  • aw

    • paw
  • oi

    • oil
  • oo

    • food
  • ou

    • ought
  • ow

    • out
  • oy

    • oil
  • ch

    • child
  • ng

    • sing
  • sh

    • shot
  • th

    • thought
  • wh

    • when

Consonant sounds and examples

  • b

    • bed
  • c

    • citrate (si′ trate)
    • carbon (kar′ bon)
  • d

    • dog
  • f

    • flew
  • g

    • gore
    • digital (di′ ji tal)
  • l

    • low
  • m

    • my
  • n

    • no
  • p

    • pit
  • q

    • queen (kween)
  • r

    • rot
  • s

    • sing
    • osmotic (oz mot′ ik)
      • aspirin (as′ pir in)
      • vision (vi′ zhun)
  • t

    • taught
  • v

    • vote
  • x

    • ox
    • xanthines (zan′ theens)
  • y

    • yes
  • z

    • zinc

Table of Contents

  1. Syllables
  2. Sounds and spelling
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