sh and ch minimal pairs 1

SH and CH minimal pairs with 32 free picture cards

SH and CH minimal pairs

Here are some more minimal pairs picture cards, pronunciation guides, word lists and practice sentences. This time they are for the minimal pairs of sh and ch. If you aren’t familiar with minimal pairs, they are simply words that are different by one sound. In this case, it is the sounds of sh and ch.

These words are fantastic to help ESL learners with any pronunciation issues they may have as well as helping native English-speaking children who may need speech therapy as they are growing up. An added bonus of using minimal pairs is that new vocabulary is also picked up along the way.

You can also use the free 32 picture cards provided here to play lots of fun flashcard games!

Sh and Ch sounds pronunciation guide

To pronounce the SH sound, the sides of your tongue should be just back from your teeth. The tip of your tongue should be forward, nearly touching the roof of your mouth and flat. You shouldn’t use your voice or throat, let air pass over the tip of your tongue.

To make the CH sound use the same technique as above but this time quickly lower your tongue as you blow out air.

SH and CH minimal pairs list (initial sound)

shard - charred share - chair shatter - chatter she’s - cheese
sheaf - chief shear - cheer sheep - cheap sheet - cheat
sheik - cheek sherry - cherry shill - chill shilling - chilling
shin - chin ship - chip shipboard - chipboard shipper - chipper
shives - chives shock - chock shoes - choose shop - chop
shore - chore shows - chose shuck - chuck

SH and CH minimal pairs list (final sound)

bash - batch bush - butch cash - catch crush - crutch
dish - ditch hash - hatch hush - hutch lash - latch
leash - leech marsh - march swish - switch wash - watch
wish - which

Practice sentences

Test your student’s pronunciation ability with these practice sentences that use SH and CH minimal pairs.

When he was walking in a marsh in March he found a dish in a ditch.

If you choose the right shoes you can catch the cash.

She eats cheese when she drinks cherry sherry.

Chatter shatters the silence.

He chose shows about ships and ships.

Which cheat sheet do you wish to use?

Related activities

There are a heap more other minimal pairs and activities here in the pronunciation section of ESL Vault. If you want to find something specific, don’t be afraid to use the search bar at the top of the page!

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