EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub
English Club : Learn English : Pronunciation : Minimal Pairs : /e/ and /eɪ/

Minimal Pairs /e/ and /eɪ/

wet and wait

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

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

/e/ is a short single sound that is pronounced without your mouth moving, whereas /eɪ/ is a diphthong (a merging of two sounds) and your mouth gets smaller as you are making the sound.

Elementary

  • bed bade*
  • bread braid*
  • etch* H
  • fess* face
  • get gate*
  • kecks* cakes
  • L ale*
  • M aim*
  • pet pate*
  • S ace*
  • tech* take
  • well whale*
  • wet wait
  • when wane*
  • wren* rain

Pre-Intermediate

  • best based*
  • edge* age
  • fell fail
  • let late
  • men main*
  • met mate*
  • pen pain
  • pent* paint
  • pled* played
  • rest raced
  • sell sale
  • set sate*
  • sex sakes*
  • special spatial*
  • test taste
  • west waist

Intermediate

  • beck* bake
  • bell bail*
  • bet bait*
  • chess chase
  • debt date
  • fem* fame
  • gel jail
  • led laid
  • lens lanes
  • shell shale*
  • tell tale
  • tent taint*
  • trend trained
  • wedge* wage
  • X aches

Upper-Intermediate

  • bled blade
  • breast braced
  • fed fade
  • fez* phase
  • fret freight
  • hell hail
  • less lace*
  • mess mace*
  • phlegm* flame
  • red raid
  • sent saint
  • shed shade
  • sped spade
  • tread trade
  • wed wade
  • wreck rake

Advanced

  • betted bated
  • dell dale
  • den deign
  • fen feign
  • fend feigned
  • fleck flake
  • fled flayed
  • heck hake
  • hex hakes
  • ken cane
  • lest laced
  • pest paste
  • rend rained
  • stead stayed
  • vend veined
  • wend waned

* the meaning of the word is not important at this level, but it can still be used to contrast the pronunciation with the other word.

Privacy & Terms | Contact | Report error
© 1997-2014 EnglishClub