What are Minimal pairs?
Minimal pairs are pairs of words which differ by one sound and that sound causes the meaning of the word to change. For example:
To dye your hair is not the same as tie your hair.
As you can see, the only difference between the two words is the first, /d/ in dye and /t/ in tie.
How can minimal pairs improve my pronunciation?
Minimal pairs mainly improve your listening in that they train your ears to distinguish between two similar words which could otherwise be confusing to you. You can also use minimal pairs to train your muscles by concentrating on the sounds that you find more challenging to you. Let's say, for example, you are aware that you have a problem with pronouncing the /r/ sound like in [rice]. You are also aware that the transition from an /r/ to an /l/ or vice versa is particularly difficult for you. So you choose to tackle it by preparing a list of /r/ and /l/ minimal pairs and repeating it until you have gotten it under control.
How do I know which minimal pairs are good for me to practice?
The best way is to listen to each group of minimal pairs provided on this website and see if you are able to hear a difference. If they sound exactly the same to you, then you have a problem.
In this website, I have created two categories of minimal pairs, one for consonants and one for vowels.
|MINIMAL PAIRS CONSONANTS||MINIMAL PAIRS VOWELS|