Here is the transcription /ˈɪr.i/. It is from Cambridge Dictionary. Does it mean that I need to say the letter r and i separately? If so, then I am confused because I thought that it is the role of the apostrophy to separate sounds like in the word interact. It is clear that we read this word as two separate words inter and act. Here is the transcription ​ /ˌɪn.t̬ɚˈækt/.


The dot denotes where a word is broken into syllables

  1. UK ee•rie /ˈɪə.ri/
    US eer•ie; /ˈɪr.i/ (two syllables)
  2. beau•ti•ful; /bjuː.tɪ.f ə l/ (three syllables)
  • The dot should be on the line, but there is variation in actual use. – James K May 31 at 10:16
  • I placed the dot midway for the sake of clarity, and some references also position the dot that way. – Mari-Lou A May 31 at 10:18

In a phonetic transcription, the apostrophe (actually a short straight down mark placed between letters above the line) indicates the primary stress, and a similar mark placed on the line indicates secondary stress. A dot placed on the line indicates a syllable break. See the section on "suprasegmentals" in an IPA chart

In General American pronunciation the word is /ˈɪr.i/ with a syllable break after the /r/

British pronunciation is /ˈɪə.ri/

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