b and v minimal pairs

B and V minimal pairs with 24 picture cards

B and V minimal pairs

Minimal pairs are wonderful for speech therapy and targetting any weak areas English language learners may have in their pronunciation. On this page, we are focusing on the B and V minimal pairs. They are simply words that differ by one sound, in this case, the sounds of B and V.

There are 3 sheets with 24 cards of B and V minimal pairs with pictures and words. You can use these to play games, do matching or memory activities, or just plain rote pronunciation practice. All you need to do is just download and print the PDF pages and cut out the cards. You can even cut the words off the bottom of the cards to create other learning exercises.

b and v minimal pairs

Pronunciation guides

If you are looking for detailed instructions on how to pronounce the B sound, you can find them on the P and B minimal pairs page.

For a guide on how to pronounce the V sound, check out the F and V minimal pairs page.

b and v minimal pairs

B and V minimal pairs list

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of words with the minimal pairs B and V. Note that depending on your region, such as the USA, or the UK, some words (vase and bars for example) may be pronounced differently. In this case, they may not be considered minimal pairs.

The first list has the minimal pairs in the initial sound. The second list has them in the middle and the final sound.

bale - veil ballet - valet ban - van bane vein
banish - vanish bars - vars bat - vat beer - veer
bencher - venture bent - vent berry - very best - vest
bet - vet better - vetter bicker - vicar bid - vid
bile - vile biz viz boat - vote boater- voter
bolt -vault bow - vow bowel - vowel bowl - vole
broom - vroom buried - varied bury - very buy - vie
cupboard - covered curb - curve dribble - drivel dub - dove
fibre - fiver gibbon given jibe - jive labor - laver
lobes - loaves lubber - lover marble - marvel rebel - revel
robe - rove saber - savor strobe - strove verb - verve

Minimal pairs B and V practice sentences

Here are some fun sentences you can use with your students to practice making the B and V sounds correctly.

He covered the cupboard with his best vest.

She held the loaves to the lobes of her ears.

We were given a gibbon.

There are bent bolts on the vault vent.

The valet said there was a ban on vans at the ballet.

There is a very big bat in the berry vat.

He vanished before he was banished.

I bet a vet that the dove didn’t like dub.


For more sentences that focus on the B sound be sure to have a look at the 45 fun B tongue twisters!

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