# Minimal Pairs

*desk disk, fan van*

A **minimal pair** is * two words that vary by only a single sound*, usually meaning sounds that may confuse English learners, like the /f/ and /v/ in

*and*

**f**an

*v**an*, or the /e/ and /ɪ/ in

*d*and

**e**sk*d*.

**i**sk## Vowel Sounds

**Minimal Pair /ɪ/ and /i:/** *s it seat*

**Minimal Pair /e/ and /ɪ/** *d esk disk*

**Minimal Pair /e/ and /eɪ/** *w et wait*

**Minimal Pair /æ/ and /ʌ/** *b at but*

**Minimal Pair /əʊ/ and /ɔ:/** *s o saw*

**Minimal Pair /ɒ/ and /əʊ/** *n ot note*

**Minimal Pair /æ/ and /e/** *b ad bed*

**Minimal Pair /ɑ:/ and /ɜ:/** *f ast first*

**Minimal Pair /æ/ and /ɑ:/** *h ad hard*

**Minimal Pair /ɒ/ and /ɔ:/** *c ot caught*

**Minimal Pair /əʊ/ and /aʊ/** *kn ow now*

## Consonant Sounds

**Minimal Pair /b/ and /v/** __b__erry __v__ery

**Minimal Pair /b/ and /p/** __b__uy __p__ie

**Minimal Pair /n/ and /ŋ/** *thi n thing*

**Minimal Pair /l/ and /r/** *a live arrive*

**Minimal Pair /ʧ/ and /t/** *ca tch cat*

**Minimal Pair /s/ and /ʃ/** __s__ea __sh__e

**Minimal Pair /f/ and /v/** __f__an __v__an

**Minimal Pair /f/ and /h/** __f__at __h__at

**Minimal Pair /f/ and /θ/** __f__ree __th__ree

**Minimal Pair /s/ and /θ/** __s__ink __th__ink

**Minimal Pair /ð/ and /z/** *wi th whizz*

**Minimal Pair /ʤ/ and /z/** *pa ge pays*

**Minimal Pair /d/ and /ʤ/** *ba d badge*

**Minimal Pair /f/ and /p/** *co ffee copy*

**Minimal Pair /kw/ and /k/** __qu__ick __k__ick

**Minimal Pair /tʃ/ and /dʒ/** __ch__eap __j__eep

**Minimal Pair /tʃ/ and /ʃ/** __ch__air __sh__are

**Minimal Pair /d/ and /ð/** __d__ay __th__ey

**Minimal Pair /t/ and /θ/** __t__ree __th__ree

## Initial Consonant Sounds

**Minimal Pair initial /f/ and /p/** __f__ast __p__ast

**Minimal Pair initial /k/ and /g/** __c__ame __g__ame

**Minimal Pair initial /t/ and /d/** __t__wo __d__o

**Minimal Pair initial /v/ and /w/** __v__ow __w__ow

**Minimal Pair initial /g/ and /w/** __g__ate __w__eight

**Minimal Pair initial /h/ and /r/** __h__at __r__at

**Minimal Pair initial /r/ and /w/** __r__ich __w__hich

**Minimal Pair initial /ʤ/ and /j/** __j__aw __y__our

**Minimal Pair initial /w/ and no /w/** * where air**

**Minimal Pair initial /h/ and no /h/** * hate eight**

## Final Consonant Sounds

**Minimal Pair final /k/ and /g/** *ba ck bag*

**Minimal Pair final /m/ and /n/** *a m an*

**Minimal Pair final /t/ and /d/** *ha t had*

**Minimal Pair final /s/ and /z/** *bu s buzz*

**Minimal Pair final /n/ and /ŋ/** *thi n thing*

**Minimal Pair final /ŋk/ and /ŋ/** *thi nk thing*

**Minimal Pair final /dʒ/ and /dʒi/** *e dge edgy**

**Minimal Pair final /tʃ/ and /tʃi/** *ca tch catchy**

*Note that this pair may not be considered a true minimal pair by the strictest definition.