The l Sound (/l/ Phoneme)

This lesson is about the l sound (/l/ Phoneme), as in the words:

all /ɔːl/
like /laɪk/
and look. /lʊk/


It is a sound from the Single Consonants group.

How to pronounce the /l/ Sound

The /l/ sound (/l/ Phoneme) is called the “alveolar lateral approximant,” which means that you put your tongue against your upper teeth and push the air around the sides of your mouth.

It is made through the mouth and is Voiced, which means you use your vocal chords to make the sound, and it is defined by the motion of your tongue. It is an approximant, which is a sound made by creating a narrow space in your mouth through which air flows. In this case, it’s the space between your tongue and the sides of your mouth.

To produce the l sound, press just the tip of your tongue against the back of your upper teeth and voice out through your mouth. Sometimes it is helpful to curl the sides of your tongue upward.

How the l Sound is spelled

The /l/ sound is spelled with the letter ‘l’ or double ‘ll.’

Examples of the l Sound

Here are some words that start with the /l/ phoneme.

  • last /lɑːst/
  • leave /liːv/
  • later /ˈleɪtə/
  • laugh /lɑːf/

Here are some words with the /l/ phoneme sound in the middle.

  • child /tʆaɪld/
  • problem /’prɒbləm/
  • always /’ɔːlwəz/
  • black /blæk/

And here are some words that end with an l sound.

  • people /’piːpəl/
  • little /ˈlɪtl/
  • national /ˈnæʆənəl/
  • control /kənˈtrəʊl/

One Response to “The l Sound (/l/ Phoneme)”

  1. Selma Madani May 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Good evening, sir please can you give more details about/l/ sound for exemple its allophones or clusters ?

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