Unit 7.1

Consonant clusters


A consonant cluster is the combination of two or more consonants together placed in any part of the word.



The most common consonant clusters are:

Uppercase Lowercase Phonetic transcription
BL, BR bl, br, /bl/, /br/
CL, CR cl, cr /kl/, /kr/
DR dr /dr/
FL, FR fl, fr /fl/, /fr/
GL,GR gl, gr /gl/, /gr/
PL, PR pl, pr /pl/, /pr/
SC, SK, SL, SM, SN, SP, ST, SW sc, sh, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw /sk/, /sk/, /sl/, /sm/, /sn/, /sp/, /st/, /w/
TR, TW tr, tw /tr/, /tw/


bl: cable

cl: cluster

tr: tree

st: coast

pr: apricot


A consonant cluster is a combination of two or more consonants together, without a vowel between them, that are part of the same syllable.

They may appear anywhere in the word: at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end.


Consonant clusters can be produced in a lot of ways, some of which are:

  • nasal + stop – /mp/
  • nasal + fricative- /sɛvə/
  • nasal + affricate – /ntʃ/
  • fricative + stop /best/

Perhaps at first they are difficult to pronounce for students due to the cluster of two consonant sounds. It usually happens when sk- at the beginning of the word, as in ski (/skiː/, not /eskiː/.)




Consonant clusters may be difficult to pronounce for some students, because they consist of two or more consonants together.

Pay attention to pronounce them correctly and not to add any vowel sounds to them. For example, we pronounce the word ski as /skiː/, not /eskiː/.


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