Consonants: Minimal Pairs

Minimal pairs are words or phrases in a language which are identical except for a single sound.

For example:

  • Bed /bɛd/ – Bad /bæd/
  • His /z/ – Hiss /s/
  • Glad /glæd/ Clad /klæd/

These differences are subtle and can completely change the meaning of a word or phrase.

Therefore, firstly, it’s important to first notice these sound differences for your own comprehension of spoken English, and secondly, so that you can replicate these sounds when speaking and be more easily understood.

In the following lessons, you will have listening/speaking exercises where the goal is to listen to the minimal pairs and then say them each out loud in order to practice both your listening comprehension skills and pronunciation skills.

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