500 Common Words: B and P as sounds

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B and P are made with the lips closed. B is a soft sound. P is a stronger sound with the air pushing out. In everyday speech, the difference is slight. Usually, B or P will be understood based on the context or overall meaning.

For most people, the difference between B and P is most noticeable as the first or last letter of a common word. Use the word lists below to practice making two distinct sounds.

The Words

Practice Reading each word pair. Make sure your B’s and P’s are different.

bigpig
bentpent
binpin
billpill
bestpest
baypay
bearpear
roberope
ribrip
mobmop
cabcap
gabgap
bowerpower
brickprick
blightplight
blankplank
blushplush
boundpound
breachpreach
brimprim
Copyright 2010: Speakmethod.com: Learn English Pronunciation, Seattle, WA

Practice Tip: You can also use this list repeatedly with an instructor. Your instructor writes down a list of answers, then speaks the words to you. You write your answers and see if they match. You can also reverse this to check your pronunciation: you write down a set of answers, then speak, and see if your instructor was able to hear you correctly.

Answers: 1. A. big, 2. A. bent, 3. B. pin, 4. A. bill, 5. B. pest, 6. B. pay, 7. B. pear, 8. A. robe, 9. B. rip, 10. A. mob, 11. A. cab, 12. B. gap, 13. B. power, 14. A. brick, 15. B. plight, 16. A. blank, 17. B. plush, 18. A. bound, 19. A. breach, 20. B. prim

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