H Sound

h:(he, behind, who)

The H sound (IPA symbol: h) can be found in English words such as he,her, hello, here, behind, and who. It is an unvoiced consonant sound. What does that mean? Read on for an explanation.

The H sound is a voiceless or unvoiced sound. This means that your vocal chords do not vibrate when you make this sound. Instead, you use a puff of air to produce the sound. The H sound is the same in British and American English.

Here are some other voiceless consonant sounds in English:

  • p sound
  • f sound
  • t sound (top)
  • k sound (kitten)
  • s sound (Sunday)
  • tʃ sound (China)
  • θ sound (south)
  • ʃ sound (Russia)

The H sound makes little sound. It is a very quiet sound. It is made by passing air through your mouth. A common error of English students is to overproduce this sound
To make the sound, lightly constrict your throat and breath out through your mouth. When done correctly, your vocal chords will not vibrate. The shape of your lips will depend on the spelling of the word. 

Tip: Use a piece of paper to practice the voiceless H sound. When you say this sound, you should release a puff of air from your mouth that moves the paper. Your vocal cords should not vibrate.

Let's practice

Remember, this is an unvoiced sound. Your vocal chords should not vibrate when you make this sound. 
Try holding a piece of paper in front of your mouth when you practice these words. Your breath should lightly move the paper when you make the H sound.
H sound at the beginning of a word:

1) he
2) how
3) her
4) home
5) help
6) here
7) hear
8) holiday
9) happy
10) hand
11) hug
12) hurry
13) his
14) heavy
15) hello
16) handsome
17) whose
18) whole
19) whom
20) who
H sound in the middle of a word:
1) behind
2) Ohio
3) doghouse
4) birdhouse
5) downhill
6) reheat
7) beehive
8) behave
9) inhale
10) uphill
Now say these sentences out loud (the H sounds are bold):
1) How are you?
2) He is here.
3) Whhas red hair?
4) Hurry uphill to the house.
5) He is a happy, handsome man.
7) Reheat the whole hamburger, so it is hot for her.
8) Whose home is high on the hill?
9) Here is her doghouse. It is heavy.
10) Help! Can you hear him?

Good job! Let’s move on!


Giới thiệu về Cô Nhã

Cô Nhã (thạc sĩ chuyên ngành giảng dạy ngôn ngữ tại đại học Queensland, Australia), giáo viên Đại học Ngoại ngữ đã có kinh nghiệm dạy IELTS hơn 20 năm. Cùng với nhóm giáo viên của Đại học Ngoại ngữ trong những năm qua cô đã giảng dạy cho hàng ngàn học sinh, sinh viên, người đi làm. Rất nhiều trong số này đã đạt được 7.5 đến 8.5 trong kỳ thi IELTS.