Minimal Pairs /f/ and /h/
fat and hat
Below are lists of words that vary only by one having the sound /h/ and the other having the sound /f/. You can use these lists to practise the sounds or to tell you which words to be careful to pronounce properly.
This page uses the symbols of the Phonemic Chart. You can listen to the symbols here.
/h/ is pronounced with a puff of air from a wide open mouth so that, for example, "ha" can be said without changing your mouth position. It is similar to blowing steam onto your glasses so you can clean them and a bit like a sigh.
/f/ is pronounced with a much smaller mouth than /h/, with the teeth near or touching the bottom lip. This means that, unlike "ha", you have to open your mouth wider to say the second part of the word "far". Using the same mouth position as /f/, your voice produces the sound /v/.
* 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.