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English Club : Learn English : Pronunciation : Minimal Pairs : /e/ and /ɪ/

Minimal Pairs /e/ and /ɪ/

desk and disk

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 vowel sound /e/ and the other the vowel sound /ɪ/. You can use this to practise the sounds or as a list of words to be careful to pronounce properly.

Both sounds are short, with /ɪ/ being pronounced with a wider mouth, almost in a kind of smile. This makes it much closer to the long sound /i:/ than it is to the short sound /e/.

Elementary

  1. dead did
  2. desk disk

Pre-Intermediate

  1. belt built
  2. fell fill
  3. head hid
  4. left lift
  5. mess miss

Intermediate

  1. bed bid
  2. beg big
  3. bell bill
  4. bet bit
  5. check chick
  6. gem gym
  7. hell hill
  8. hem him
  9. let lit
  10. pet pit

Upper-Intermediate

  1. bend binned
  2. bent bint
  3. cheque chick
  4. deck dick
  5. fen fin
  6. get git
  7. jest gist
  8. leapt lipped
  9. led lid
  10. lest list
  11. kecks kicks
  12. kept kipped
  13. meddle middle
  14. messed mist
  15. peg pig
  16. set sit

Advanced

  1. bless bliss
  2. Celt kilt
  3. clef cliff
  4. clench clinch
  5. crept crypt
  6. dell dill
  7. den din
  8. dent dint
  9. fetter fitter
  10. fez fizz
  11. fleck flick
  12. fretter fritter
  13. gelding gilding
  14. heck hick
  15. hem hymn
  16. hep hip
  17. hex hicks
  18. ken kin
  19. ketch kitsch
  20. Med mid
  21. phlegm flim
  22. quell quill

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