CH and J Sounds

CH: (China, century, watch)

J: (Germany, educate , judge )

In English, the CH and J sounds are often studied together because they are made in the same part of the mouth and pronounced in a similar way. In this lesson, we will learn how to make the voiceless CH sound (China, century) and the voiced J sound (Germany, jump). 

How to pronounce the CH and J sounds

The voiceless (unvoiced) CH sound (IPA symbol: tʃ ) can be found in English words such as China, child, church, century, watch, and catch.

The voiced J sound (IPA symbol: dʒ ) can be found in English words such as Germany, large, joy, educate, edge and judge. 

Voiced and voiceless sounds

What are voiced and voiceless sounds? Let's review.
In the English language, we use many voiced sounds. That means that the vocal cords vibrate when you say that sound. The J sound is a voiced sound because you use your voice to make the sound.
The CH sound is a voiceless or unvoiced sound because the vocal cords do not vibrate when you make the sound. Instead, you release air out of your mouth to make the sound.
To make the CH and J sounds, air is stopped from leaving your mouth for a short time. The tip of the your tongue presses against the back of your top teeth to stop air from leaving your mouth. The sides of your tongue press against the sides of your upper teeth.
You make the CH sound by releasing the stopped air through your teeth. It is similar to the way the 
T sound is made, but your tongue is further back on the top tooth ridge.
You make the J sound by releasing the air and voicing the sound. It is similar to the way the D sound is made.

Let's practice!

Practice the voiceless CH sound
Practice the voiceless CH sound by saying these words aloud. Remember that the CH sound is not voiced. Your vocal cords do not vibrate when you make this sound. Make sure you are only using air to make the sound.
There are three spellings for the CH soundchtch, and t (+u).
Let's practice these three spellings of this sound!
ch spelling
This is the most common way to spell the CH sound. Ch always makes the CH sound.

  • China
  • Chinese
  • chip
  • chat
  • church
  • pinch
  • touch
  • teach
  • teacher

tch spelling

  • catch
  • watch 
  • batch 
  • itch 
  • kitchen
  • witch 

t (+u) spelling

  • century
  • spatula

In these words, the CH sound is spelled with the letter T followed by a U. This is not a very common spelling of the CH sound, but it is important to know it exists. Most words with the tu spelling, are pronounced with a regular t sound (examples: turn, turkey).

You don't have to memorize every pronunciation rule. You can use a dictionary or online pronunciation guide to learn the correct pronunciation of each new word.
Practice the voiced J sound
Now, let's practice the voiced J sound. Remember to use air and your voice to make this sound. 
There are four spellings of the J sound
gdgj, and d (+u)
Let's practice each spelling.
g spelling
When the letter G is followed by an E or an I, it is sometimes pronounced as a J sound
The g (+i) spelling is often (but not always) pronounced as a 
hard G sound(examples: girl, gift, give). Here are a few words that are pronunced with the J sound:

  • giant
  • imagine
  • apologize
  • giraffe

The g (+e) spelling is usually pronounced as a J sound like in these words:

  • Germany
  • German
  • large
  • charge
  • age
  • gentle

dg spelling

  • fudge
  • budge
  • bridge
  • judge

j spelling

  • judge
  • jump
  • joy
  • joke
  • eject
  • July
  • June

d (+u) spelling
When the letter D is followed by the letter U, it is sometimes pronounced as aJ sound like in these words: 

  • educate
  • schedule
  • procedure
  • graduate
  • individual

Most words with a du spelling are pronounced with a regular D sound.

  • during
  • reduce
  • dust

Remember, you can always use a dictionary or online pronunciation guide to learn the correct pronunciation of each new word. 
Finally, practice the sounds side-by-side
Remember to voice the J sound and use only air for the CH sound!















Now say these sentences out loud.
The CH sounds are in blue. The J sounds are in green:
1) Teach the children at the church.
2) The spatula is in the kitchen.
3) We eat cheese and chips on a china plate.
4) The gentle giant jumped for joy!
5) I enjoy eating jam and jelly.
6) The gentleman from Germany had a procedure in June.
7) In July, I will educate the cheerful child in Chinese and German.
8) Just apologize to the teacher for touching the giraffe.
9) The joyful judge ate fudge in the kitchen.
10) Imagine a giant, gentle witch with an itch.

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.