Minimal Pairs final /m/ and /n/

as in am and an

Below is a list of words that vary only by one ending with the sound /m/ and the other ending with the sound /n/.

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

Both sounds are produced with the air coming through your nose. With /m/ that is achieved by closing your lips, whereas with /n/ the lips are open and your tongue touching the top of your mouth behind your teeth blocks the air. Even students who do not find these sounds difficult to recognise and produce at the beginning of syllables can have problems when they are at the end of words.

Elementary

am an

Pre-Intermediate

cam can

comb cone

foam phone

home hone

mam man

meme mean

sum son

term turn

time tine

Intermediate

beam been

came cane

dime dine

game gain

gnome known

gum gun

seam scene

seem seen

spam span

sum sun

team teen

trams trans-

Upper-Intermediate

boom boon

clam clan

dorm dawn

fame feign

gram gran

same sane

scam scan

skim skin

term tern

tome tone

Advanced

beam bean

blame blain

deem dean

dim din

dumb dun

gleam glean

grim grin

sim sin

sperm spurn

teem teen

tomb 'toon

thyme tine