p and b minimal pairs initial sound 1

P and B minimal pairs

P and B minimal pairs

Here are some useful resources for the P and B minimal pairs. There are 32 free flashcards with pictures to print, a minimal pairs P and B word list, and some practice sentences.

The words here are minimal pairs because they differ by only 1 sound(P or B). In the pairs here, the difference is either at the start of the word (initial sound) or at the end (final sound).


How to pronounce the P sound

The P sound is unvoiced meaning that it does not come from your throat. There should be no buzzing or vibration at all in your throat when you make this sound.

To make the P sound, close your lips tightly. Next, push air to the front of your mouth and suddenly release it by opening your mouth.


How to pronounce the B sound

To make the B sound you use a similar technique to the P sound above. The difference is that it is voiced. The sound should come from your throat. You should feel a slight buzzing in your vocal cords as you make the B.

Don’t release the air in your mouth as suddenly as the P sound. You will notice that the B is also a bit quieter than the B.


P and B minimal pairs pictures

There are 4 sheets of flashcards to be cut out. The first one is above and the other three are below. Each sheet has 2 sets of minimal pairs and can be used individually. You don’t have to print them all.

You can use the cards for rote pronunciation practice and language learning activities such as matching and memory games.

The minimal pairs picture cards have the following words –

Sheet 1  – peach – beach, pig – big, pear – bear, pole – bowl.

Sheet 2 – peak – beak, park – bark, pin – bin, push bush.

Sheet 3  – pea – bee, pull – bull, pug, bug, pike – bike.

Sheet 4 – cup – cub, cap – cab, tap – tab, rope – robe.

P and B minimal pairs list (initial sound)

pa - bar pace – base pack - back panned – band
park - bark pat - bat path – bath pawed - board
pay - bay pea – bee peach - beach peak - beak
pear – bear peat - beat peep - beep peg - beg
pelt – belt pent – bent pest - best pet – bet
pier - beer pig - big pike - bike pill – bill
pillion - billion pin – bin pit – bit plank - blank
planned – bland plaster - blaster played – blade plays – blaze
plead – bleed plight - blight plot – blot plume - bloom
pole – bowl pond - bond poor – boar pop - bop
port – bought post - boast pouring - boring pounce – bounce
pout - bout praise – braise prawn - brawn pressed – breast
prick - brick pride – bride puff - buff pug - bug
pull – bull pup – pub purr – burr push - bush
putt – but putter butter

P and B minimal pairs list (final sound)

cap – cab cop - cob cup – cub fop - fob
gap – gab lap – lab loop - lube lope - lobe
mop - mob rip - rib rope – robe slap - slab
slop – slob sop – sob swap - swab tap – tab
tripe - tribe
Practice sentences

Here are some simple sentences for practising the P and B sounds together.

Put the pin in the bin.

The tribe eats tripe.

A robe on a rope.

She drank beer on the pier.

The bears eat pears.

They bought a port.

There is a bath on the path.

He rakes bark in the park.

That’s a big pig.

They bop to pop.

For more minimal pairs with different sounds, check out the pronunciation section of ESL Vault.


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