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English Club : Learn English : Pronunciation : Minimal Pairs : /æ/ and /ʌ/

Minimal Pairs /æ/ and /ʌ/

bat and but

This page uses the symbols of the Phonemic Chart. You can listen to the symbols here.

Below are lists of words that vary only by one having the sound /æ/ and the other the sound /ʌ/. You can use this to practise the sounds or as a list of words to be careful to pronounce properly.

/æ/ and /ʌ/ are the two closest vowel sounds in English and so it is very difficult to hear and pronounce the difference. In fact, in some American accents there is no distinction between the two. It is still worth language learners working on the difference between them, however, as there are many words that vary only by this sound.

Elementary

  • bat but
  • batter butter
  • cap cup
  • cat cut
  • match much

Pre-Intermediate

  • bad bud
  • began begun
  • drank drunk
  • fan fun
  • hat hut
  • ran run
  • sang sung
  • swam swum

Intermediate

  • ankle uncle
  • back buck
  • badge budge
  • bag bug
  • ban bun
  • bank bunk
  • banker bunker
  • brash brush
  • cam come
  • crash crush
  • dabble double
  • dad dud
  • ham hum
  • hang hung
  • mad mud
  • massed must
  • pan pun
  • rang rung
  • rash rush
  • sack suck
  • sax sucks
  • stand stunned
  • track truck

Upper-Intermediate

  • bang bung
  • cab cub
  • cram crumb
  • dam dumb
  • damp dump
  • dram drum
  • fanned fund
  • flash flush
  • gnat nut
  • hag hug
  • paddle puddle
  • pack puck
  • pat putt
  • rag rug
  • sand sunned
  • sank sunk
  • scam scum
  • slam slum
  • slang slung
  • stack stuck
  • stank stunk
  • tang tongue
  • tag tug
  • tramps trumps
  • wan won

Advanced

  • blabber blubber
  • champ chump
  • dab dub
  • dank dunk
  • flank flunk
  • flax flux
  • gash gush
  • glam glum
  • grab grub
  • hanker hunker
  • hash hush
  • hatch hutch
  • jag jug
  • lag lug
  • mat mutt
  • pap pup
  • patter putter
  • rabble rubble
  • ram rum
  • sally sully
  • sap sup
  • sapper supper
  • scram scrum
  • shacks shucks
  • slag slug
  • slash slush
  • slat slut
  • stab stub
  • tab tub
  • tack tuck
  • tat tut
  • thrash thrush

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