n and ng minimal pairs

N and NG minimal pairs with 32 free picture cards

N and NG minimal pairs

Here are some resources for speech therapy and general pronunciation practice for ESL and young learners. There are 32 N and NG minimal pairs picture cards with words, a pronunciation guide, a word list, and sentences to practice these sounds.

The picture and word cards are great for learning games, all you need to do is print and cut them out. You can even cut the words off them and use them for vocabulary matching to teach new words.

These words are all minimal pairs because they differ in 1 sound, in this case, N and NG. These sounds are located at the medial and final positions. This means in the middle or at the end of the words.

It should be noted that depending on where in the world you live there are some pronunciation differences. For example, the words lawn and long would not be considered minimal pairs in the UK or Australia because the vowel sound is also different. In North America however, they can be considered as minimal pairs.

N and NG pronunciation guide

To make the N sound, you keep your mouth open. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth touching your top teeth and your teeth on both sides. As you pronounce this sound air should come through your nose, not your mouth. Note that this is a voiced sound therefore there should be a vibration in your throat.

To articulate the NG sound use the same procedure as N but this time place your tongue at the back of your mouth. It should also be pressed against the roof of your mouth.

N and NG minimal pairs list

Here is a list of minimal pairs in case you are looking for more words for further activities.

ban - bang banned - banged banner - banger bidden - bidding
break-in - breaking bruin - brewing bun - bung chin - Ching
clan - clang coffin - coughing concord - conquered din - ding
dinner - dinger done - dung fan - fang forbidden - forbidding
given - giving goblin - gobbling gone gong hand- hanged
Hun - hung kin - king lawn - long pan - pang
pin - ping pinning - pinging prawn - prong puffin- puffing
purlin - pearling raisin - raising ran - rang robin - robbing
run - rung sin - sing sinner - singer stun - stung
sun - sung surgeon - surging tan - tang thin - thing
tin - ting ton - tongue virgin - verging win - wing
wind - winged winner - winger

Practice sentences

Another way to practice N and NG minimal pairs is through reading sentences. Here are some silly sentences you can get your students to read aloud.

The winger was the winner of a thin thing.

A puffing puffin flew 2 winged in the wind.

The singer-sinner has sung in the sun.

Gobbling goblins run up rungs as they pang for pans.

There was a clang as the clan began coughing on the coffin.

The Hun hung the king’s kin.

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