Practice dictations


     Below are dictations to help train your sensitivity to the sounds of English. Get a pen or pencil and paper ready, connect and put on a headphone set, then right-click on the speaker icon, then click on "Open in new tab" to play the audio file. Write down the words you hear, first in English orthography, then in IPA symbols. Each item will be read twice, and a pause will be left after the second reading. Pause or replay the file if you need more time to think and/or write. Finally, mark the line next to each number to reveal the answers and check your work carefully. Give yourself five points for each correct spelling, another five for each correct IPA transcription.
     Each item must be completely correct to earn the points; no partial points are given. Add the points for each correct answer together to get a percentage score on the dictation. Above 80 percent is good; aim for 100. Getting below 80 percent on any of the quizzes means you need more practice!
     The first examples in this series emphasize English vowels and final stops.
     Here is an example to show how it works:


Example:   pick [pɪk]  (Mark the area after the speaker icon with your mouse to reveal the answers.)

Dictation I.   1. boot [but] 2. bat
[bæt]
3. bought [bɔt] 4. bet [bɛt] 5. but [bʌt] 6. bit [bɪt] 7. bait [beɪt] 8. bot (clipped form of "robot") [bɑt] 9. beat [bit] 10. boat [boʊt]

Dictation II.   1. head [h
ɛd] 2. heed [hid] 3. hide [haɪd] 4. hub [hʌb] 5. hid [hɪd] 6. who'd [hud] 7. had [hæd] 8. hod [hɑd] 9. hoed [hoʊd] 10. hood [hʊd]

Dictation III.   1. rod [r
ɑd] 2. read (verb, present) [rid] 3. raid [reɪd] 4. red [rɛd] 5. rid [rɪd] 6. Sam [sæm] 7. soon [sun] 8. same [seɪm] 9. sang [sæ̝ŋ] 10. sane [seɪn]

Dictation IV.   1. mitt
[mɪt] 2. moot [mut] 3. meet/meat/mete [mit] 4. moat/mote [moʊt] 5. met [mɛt] 6. mat/Matt [mæt] 7. mushy/mooshy ['mʊʃi] 8. mate [meɪt] 9. might/mite [maɪt] 10. mutt/mut [mʌt]

Dictation V.   1. lit
[lɪt ̚ ] 2. lead [lid] 3. lid [lɪd] 4. late [leɪt ̚ ] 5. let [lɛt ̚ ] 6. lout [laʊt ̚ ] 7. led/lead (mineral) [lɛd] 8. loiter ['lɔɪɾɚ] 9. loud [laʊd] 10. loot/lute [lut ̚ ]

Dictation VI.   1. nook
[nʊk ̚ ] 2. knack [næk ̚ ] 3. nog [nɑg] 4. nuke [nuk ̚ ] 5. nag [næ̝g] 6. nick/Nick [nɪk ̚ ] 7. nab [næb] 8. neck [nɛk ̚ ] 9. nap/Knapp [næp ̚ ] 10. knock [nɑk ̚ ]

Dictation VII.   1. whack/wack
[wæk ̚ ] 2. what [wʌt ̚ ] 3. wig [wɪ̝g] 4. wag [wæ̝g] 5. wit [wɪt ̚ ] 6. whip [wɪp ̚ ] 7. wet [wɛt ̚ ] 8. web [wɛb] 9. wick [wɪk ̚ ] 10. wad [wɑd]

Dictation VIII. 1. ate/eight
[eɪt ̚ ] 2. ache [eɪk ̚ ] 3. at [æt ̚ ] 4. et/ate (conservative British pronunciation) t ̚ ] 5. ape [eɪp ̚ ] 6. ick [ɪk ̚ ] 7. eat [it ̚ ] 8. it [ɪt ̚ ] 9. app (abbreviation for "[software] application") [æp ̚ ] 10. eke/eek [ik ̚ ]

Dictation from test on Ladefoged/Johnson, ch. 1, 10/22/2012:
Dictation IX.  1.
sang [sæ̝ŋ]  2. sun/son [sʌn]   3. seen/scene [sin]   
4. sat [s
æt]    5. sup [sʌp]   6. soot [sʊt]   7. said [sɛd]   8. sawed [sɔd]   
9. sing [s
ɪŋ]   10. sane [seɪn]

Dictation X. (finetuning: taps and vowel length)  1. other ['ʌðɚ] 2. utter ['ʌɾɚ]  3. udder ['ʌ:dɚ]  
                         4. otter ['ɑɾɚ]
 5. odder ['ɑ:dɚ]

Dictation XI.  (vowels and nasal finals) 1. rain/reign [ɹeɪn]  2. rang [ɹæŋ]  3. wrong [ɹɔŋ]  4. wren [ɹɛn]  
                        5. ring/wring [ɹɪŋ]  6. rune [ɹun]  7. ran [ɹæn]  8. rung/wrung [ɹʌŋ]  9. Ron [ɹɑn]  10. run [ɹʌn]

                       (velar raising is not marked due to technical difficulties)

Tricky vowel contrasts and velar vs. alveolar final practice sets:
1. tong tongue tang tan ton
2. song sung sang sand sun
3. wrong rung rang ran run


Unreleased stop: "promised to"

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