Pronunciation: List of Minimal Pairs

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Today we are going to learn some more about what minimal pairs are and how to discriminate one sound in English from another.

Pair of words, as pin and bin, or bet and bed, differing only by one sound in the same position in each word, especially when such a pair is taken as evidence for the existence of a phonemic contrast between the two sounds.

These are some examples of minimal pairs,if you need to check the phonetic transcription or how a word is pronounced. 

Visit the Cambridge Online Dictionary for more information

Vowels: Minimal Pairs  /iː/ and /ɪ/

YouTube video
beachbitch
heathit
peachpitch
eatit
seatsit
beadbid
beetbit
heedhid
deeddid
feetfit
reachrich
greengrin
peelpill
seatersitter

For more information about these two sounds in English, please check these two posts:

  1. How to Pronounce The /ɪ/ sound Correctly
  2. How to Pronounce The / iː / Sound Correctly

Vowels: Minimal Pairs /æ/ and /e/

For more information about these two sounds in English, please check these two posts:

bagbeg
batbet
fastfest
manmen
mantlemental
  1. How to Pronounce The /æ/ Sound Correctly
  2. How to Pronounce The /e/ Sound Correctly

Vowels: Minimal Pairs /e/ and /eɪ/

FellFell
GetGate
LetLate
FellFail
SellSale
TechTake
WellWhale
WestWaist

For more information about these two sounds in English, please check these two posts:

  1. How to Pronounce The /e/ Sound Correctly
  2. How to Pronounce The /eɪ/ Sound Correctly

Vowels: Minimal Pairs /æ/ and /ʌ/

BatBut
CapCup
CatCut
Match Much
RanRun
SangSung
BagBug
CrashCrush
HangHung
MadMud

For more information about these two sounds in English, please check these two posts:

  1. How to Pronounce The /æ/ Sound Correctly
  2. How to Pronounce The /ʌ/ Sound Correctly

Vowels: Minimal Pairs /e/ and /ɪ/

YouTube video
bedbid
LeftLift
MessMiss
begbig
bellbill
BeltBuilt
BetBit
BlessBliss
CheckChick
DeadDid
FellFill
DeskDisk
GemGym
HeadHid

Vowels: Minimal Pairs  /u:/ and /ɔ:/

bootbought
coolcall
drewdraw
flewflaw
foolfall

For more information about these two sounds in English, please check these two posts:

  1. How to Pronounce The /ɔ:/ Sound Corrrectly
  2. How to Pronounce The /u:/ Sound Correctly

Vowels and Diphthongs: /ɪ/ and /aɪ/

bebuy
creamcrime
deletedelight
feelfile
feetfight
freefry
freezefries
hehigh
mealmile
meanmine


For more information about these two sounds in English, please check these two posts:

  1. How to Pronounce The / iː / Sound Correctly
  2. How to Pronounce The /aɪ/ Sound Correctly

Learn More

These are some posts that you might want to check out

  1. List of Homophones [Infographic]
  2. 4 English Pronunciation Activities for Children
  3. 3 ways to Pronounce the Final S
  4. 30 Great English Tongue Twisters
  5. 8 Best English Pronunciation Apps
  6. Full Guide to English Pronunciation
  7. 6 Best Pronunciation Websites
  8. Pronunciation: List of Minimal Pairs
  9. The British Council Interactive Phonemic Chart
Jose Manuel Campos N - English Professor

About manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English