Minimal Pair /s/ and /θ/

as in sing and thing

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

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

At least while you are making a conscious effort to do so, it is fairly easy to pronounce these two sounds differently. /θ/ is pronounced with your tongue between your teeth or even sticking out of your mouth, and you can make sure you pronounce it clearly by putting your finger vertically in front of your lips and checking that it gets wet when you make this sound. /s/ is pronounced with the tongue well inside your mouth and the mouth much more widely stretched.


mouse mouth

sing thing


face faith

force fourth

sick thick

sink think

sort thought

tense tenth

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mass math

miss myth

pass path

saw thaw

seem theme

some thumb

song thong

use youth

worse worth


gross growth

kiss kith

Norse North

race wraith

seam theme

sigh thigh

sin thin

sore thaw

sought thought

sum thumb

truce truth


moss moth

piss pith

purse Perth

sank thank

sawn thorn

suds thuds

sump thump

symbol thimble

Written for EnglishClub by Alex Case

Voiced by Jonathan Taylor