English alphabet

English alphabet
Dax sample.png
An English pangram displaying all the characters in context, in FF Dax Regular typeface
Script type
Time period
c.1500 to present
LanguagesEnglish
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Latn (215), ​Latin
Unicode
Unicode alias
Latin
U+0000 to U+007E Basic Latin and punctuation
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The alphabet for Modern English is a Latin-script alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an upper- and lower-case form. The word alphabet is a compound of the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta. The alphabet originated around the 7th century CE to write Old English from Latin script. Since then, letters have been added or removed to give the current letters:

The exact shape of printed letters varies depending on the typeface (and font), and the standard printed form may differ significantly from the shape of handwritten letters (which varies between individuals), especially cursive. English Vowels and English Consonants. The English alphabet has 6 vowels and 20 consonants.

Written English has a large number of digraphs (e.g., would, beak, moat); it stands out (almost uniquely) as a European language without diacritics in native words. The only exceptions are:

  • a diaeresis (e.g., "coöperation") may be used to distinguish two vowels with separate pronunciation from a double vowel[nb 1][1]
  • a grave accent, very occasionally, (as in learnèd, an adjective) may be used to indicate that a normally silent vowel is pronounced


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