Unit 7.1

Consonant clusters


A consonant cluster is two or more consonants together, without a vowel between them. They may appear at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a word.


The most common consonant clusters are:

UppercaseLowercasePhonetic transcription
BL, BRbl, br,/bl/, /br/
CL, CRcl, cr/kl/, /kr/
FL, FRfl, fr/fl/, /fr/
GL,GRgl, gr/gl/, /gr/
PL, PRpl, pr/pl/, /pr/
SC, SK, SL, SM, SN, SP, ST, SWsc, sh, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw/sk/, /sk/, /sl/, /sm/, /sn/, /sp/, /st/, /w/
TR, TWtr, tw/tr/, /tw/


br: brother

cl: cluster

tr: tree


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/


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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