Minimal Pairs /b/ and /p/

as in buy and pie

Below is a list of words that vary only by one having the sound /b/ and the other the sound /p/.

You can use this list to practise the sounds, or as a list of words to be careful in pronouncing.

The main difference between /b/ and /p/ is that /b/ is a voiced sound, whereas /p/ is just produced by the puff of air. Also, /b/ is pronounced with less air released than /p/, and this can sometimes be a more useful distinction as it is difficult to feel the vocal cords vibrating when making the /b/ sound.



bar Pa

be P

big pig

buy pie

by pie

bye pie


bay pay

bear pair

bet pet

bill pill

bin pin

bore poor

bought port

cub cup


band panned

base pace

bat pat

bear pear

beer pier

belt pelt

berry perry

bit pit

blade played

bland planned

blank plank

blaze plays

bored pawed

braise prays

bride pride

bull pull

but putt

butter putter

lib lip

pub pup

robe rope

tab tap


banned panned

bare pare

beak peak

beat peat

bee pee

bitch pitch

bleed plead

blot plot

board pawed

bore pour

braise praise

breast pressed

burr per

cab cap

rib rip


bah par

batty patty

bead peed

beak peek

beep peep

beet peat

bi pi

bier peer

blade plaid

blaster plaster

bleat pleat

bloom plume

blunder plunder

blush plush

boar paw

boar pour

boo poo

braise preys

brat prat

brawn prawn

breech preach

brick prick

brig prig

brim prim

burr purr

butt putt

tribe tripe