List of Latin-script tetragraphs

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This is a list of tetragraphs in the Latin script. These are most common in Irish orthography. For Cyrillic tetragraphs, see tetragraph#Cyrillic ลง.


Tetragraphs in Arrernte transcribe single consonants, but are largely predictable from their components.

kngw is /ᵏŋʷ/

rtnw is /ʈɳʷ/

thnw and tnhw are /ᵗ̪n̪ʷ/

tnyw is /ᶜɲʷ/


The majority of English tetragraphs make vowel sounds:

aigh is pronounced /eɪ/, as in straight.
aire is pronounced /ɛː/ in Received Pronunciation (RP), as in millionaire.
arre is pronounced /ɑː/ in RP, as in bizarre.
arrh is pronounced /ɑː/ in RP, as in catarrh.
augh is pronounced /ɔː/, as in caught.
ayer is pronounced /ɛː/ in RP, as in prayer.
ayor is pronounced /ɛː/ in RP, as in mayor.
eigh has three pronunciations; /eɪ/ as in weigh, /aɪ/ as in height, and /iː/ as in Leigh.
ough has ten possible pronunciations, five of which make vowel sounds; /aʊ/ as in drought, /ɔː/ as in bought, /oʊ/ as in though, /uː/ as in through, and /ə/ as in thorough.
ueue is pronounced /juː/, as in queue.
yrrh is pronounced /ɜː/ in RP, as in myrrh.

There are four examples of vowel tetragraphs that are found only in proper nouns:

eare is pronounced /ɪə/ in RP, as found in Shakespeare.
orce is pronounced /ʊ/ in RP, as found in Worcestershire.
oore is pronounced /ɔː/ in RP, as found in Moore.
ughe is pronounced /juː/, as found in Hughes.

Three consonant tetragraphs exist in English that are more commonly sounded as two separate digraphs. However, when used in word-initial position they become one single sound:

chth is pronounced /θ/ as in chthonian. Pronounced as two digraphs /kθ/ in autochthonous.
phth is pronounced /θ/ as in phthisis. Pronounced as two digraphs /fθ/ (or /pθ/ by some) in diphthong.
shch is pronounced /ʃ/ as in shcherbakovite, a mineral named after Russian geochemist and mineralogist, Dmitri Ivanovich Shcherbakov.[1] It is used as the transcription of the Cyrillic letter Щ and usually read as two separate digraphs, /ʃ.t͡ʃ/ as in pushchairs or /s.t͡ʃ/ as in Pechishche, a place name in Belarus.[2]


illi is used to write the sound [j] in a few words such as myrtillier [miʁtije].

In addition, trigraphs are sometimes followed by silent letters, and these sequences may be confused with tetragraphs:

cque is pronounced [k] in words such as "grecque" and "Mecque", where the trigraph cqu is followed by the feminine suffix e.

eaux is pronounced [o] when the silent plural suffix x is added to the trigraph eau.


dsch represents [d͡ʒ] in loanwords such as Dschungel ("jungle"), Aserbaidschan ("Azerbaijan"), Tadschikistan ("Tajikistan"), Kambodscha ("Cambodia") and Dschingis Khan ("Genghis Khan").

tsch represents [t͡ʃ], which is a relatively uncommon phoneme in German but appears in some very common words like deutsch ("German"), Deutschland ("Germany"), Tschechien ("Czech Republic"), and tschüss ("bye").

zsch is used for [t͡ʃ] in a few German names such as Zschopau and Zschorlau.


There are several sequences of four letters in the Romanized Popular Alphabet that transcribe what may be single consonants, depending on the analysis. However, their pronunciations are predictable from their components. All begin with the ⟨n⟩ of prenasalization, and end with the ⟨h⟩ of aspiration. Between these is a digraph, one of ⟨dl⟩ /tˡ/, ⟨pl⟩ /pˡ/, ⟨ts⟩ /ʈ͡ʂ/, or ⟨tx⟩ /t͡s/, which may itself be predictable.

ndlh is /ndˡʱ/.

nplh is /mbˡʱ/.

ntsh is /ɳɖʐʱ/.

ntxh is /ndzʱ/.


Used between two velarized ("broad") consonants:

adha and agha are used for [əi̯] (in Donegal, [eː]).
abha, amha, obha, odha, ogha are used for [əu̯] (in Donegal, [oː]).
omha is used for [oː].

Used between two palatalized ("slender") consonants:

eidh and eigh are used for [əi̯].

Used between a broad and a slender consonant:

aidh and aigh are used for [əi̯] (in Donegal, [eː]).
oidh and oigh are used for [əi̯].

Used between a slender and a broad consonant:

eabh and eamh are used for [əu̯] (in Donegal, [oː]).
eadh is used for [əi̯] (in Donegal, [eː]) between a slender and a broad consonant, or for an unstressed [ə] at the end of a word.


The apostrophe was used with three trigraphs for click consonants in the 1987 orthography of Juǀʼhoan. The apostrophe is a diacritic rather than a letter in Juǀʼhoan.

dcgʼ for [ᶢǀʢ]

dçgʼ for [ᶢǂʢ]

dqgʼ for [ᶢǃʢ]

dxgʼ for [ᶢǁʢ]


Piedmontese does not have tetragraphs. A hyphen may separate ⟨s⟩ from ⟨c⟩ or ⟨g⟩, when these would otherwise be read as single sounds.

s-c and s-cc /stʃ/, to avoid confusion with the digraph ⟨sc⟩ for /ʃ/.

s-g and s-gg are similarly used for the sequence /zdʒ/.


eeuw and ieuw are used in Dutch for the sounds [eːu̯] and [iːu̯], as in sneeuw, "snow" and nieuw, "new". ⟨Uw⟩ alone stands for [yːu̯], so these sequences are not predictable.

gqxʼ is used in the practical orthography of the Taa language, where it represents the prevoiced affricate [ɢqχʼ].

ngʼw is used for [ŋʷ] in Swahili-based alphabets. However, the apostrophe is a diacritic in Swahili, not a letter, so this is not a true tetragraph.

nyng is used in Yanyuwa to write a pre-velar nasal, [ŋ̟].

s-ch is used in the Puter orthographic variety of the Romansh language (spoken in the Upper Engadin area in Switzerland) for the sequence /ʃtɕ/ (while the similar trigraph ⟨sch⟩ denotes the sounds /ʃ/ and /ʒ/).[3] It is not part of the orthography of Rumantsch Grischun, but is used in place names like S-chanf and in the Puter orthography used locally in schools again since 2011.

thsh is used in Xhosa to write the sound [tʃʰ]. It is often replaced with the ambiguous trigraph tsh.

tth’ is used in various Northern Athabaskan languages for [t̪͡θʼ], the dental ejective affricate.


  1. ^ "Shcherbakovite". Mindats. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ "GoogleMaps". MGoogleMaps. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  3. ^ Meds d'instrucziun dal Grischun / Lehrmittel Graubünden, ed. (2013). "Grammatica puter" (PDF) (in Romansh and German). p. 28. Retrieved 2014-04-27.