Learn how to pronounce the Letters CH in words pronounced as K, CH, and SH in this American English Pronunciation Lesson.

The letters CH can be pronounced three ways: CH, K, SH.

The letters CH are pronounced CH most of the time.

If a word is Greek in derivation, then pronounce it K like in stomach, chemistry.

If a word is French in derivation, then pronounce it as SH like in Chicago, machine, and mustache.

Improve your accent and speak clearly with this ESL English pronunciation lesson. Learn how to pronounce English words correctly with Jennifer Tarle from Tarle Speech and Language. Lessons guide you through a quick pronunciation lesson with practice examples. Learn quick tips to have you sounding clearer in no time. Reduce your accent, gain confidence, and speak clearly today!


Hi everyone it’s Jennifer with your question of the week!
This is more of a spelling tip this week and of course we’ll talk about how to pronounce the sound, but the question revolves around the letters c h and how do we know how they are pronounced. So let’s go ahead and take a look. Okay so we have two letters typically these two letters stand for one sound and that’s the ch sound or the ch.

So to make that ch sound what you’re going to do is you’re going to touch the tip of your tongue to the back of your top front teeth and then the tongue pulls back for the ch ch/

You can see my lips are slightly rounded and we see this in words like cheese and much.
So again this is the default pattern.

We have two exceptions for you.
We have the k sound and this is in words that are more greek in derivation and again two letters are going to be one sound the K. To make a k sound tip of the tongue is low in the mouth back of the tongue is pull up air just puffs out and we see this pattern and the word chemistry stomach and school.

And then last we have these two letters ch pronounced as the sh sound the s h sound again typically two letters accounting for one sound for this sound your lips are rounded your tongue is not touching your teeth and the air just continues to move out.
We see this in words again typically a french derivation in words like champagne and machine and mustache.

So again we have three ways to pronounce the letters c h

The overarching general rule is we’re going to pronounce this as CH and we see that in words like cheese and much

and we can also pronounce them like a k sound when they’re in more of a word that comes from greek and we would see that in chemistry stomach and school

and then last sometimes we pronounce these letters as an sh in champagne machine and chicago my state my hometown i’m sorry um
and the reason we do this is because those are more french in derivation

So give it a try I know people are going to notice the difference if you found this helpful we’d love a like and a share don’t forget to subscribe if you’re looking for more help you can check out our products on google play iTunes and all of our class options at Tarle speech thanks everyone!