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- Ep 4: The difference between ‘B’, ‘P’ & ‘V’ sounds – Everyday English Podcast
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- Ep 2: English Grammar – Present Perfect Tense – Everyday English Podcast
- Ep 1: English Pronunciation – Everyday English Podcast
Hi my name’s Mark. Welcome back to another episode of the E2 English Podcast where we teach you English vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. If you haven’t yet subscribed, make sure you do because this is a great way to improve your English while you drive your car or wash your dishes or even exercise!
Remember to check out E2 English at www.e2school.com to learn English properly. We have lots of great English language courses on pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, spelling as well as general English from beginner to advanced!
In this episode we’re concentrating on pronunciation. We’re going to practise a key sound in English – the BEE sound, the B sound. There are heaps of words that have a B sound in them in English like ball, broccoli or ballerina! We’ll also practise some other similar sounding sounds as well – sounds that are easily confused with the B sound like the P sound.
It’s really important that when you pronounce a B sound you get it just right. And it’s equally important that if you pronounce a P sound or a F sound that it sounds just right as well. These sounds in English are very close to each other, and perhaps you don’t have them in your first language. What we’re dealing with here are slight differences in mouth position, so let’s firstly talk about how to move your mouth to make the B sound correctly.
So B is made by pushing your top and bottom lips together and then exploding your breath through them using your throat. B, B, B. If you put your hand on your throat you should be able to feel a vibration: B, B, B.
Ready? Repeat these sounds with me. Remember that I have a Canadian accent. Here we go!
(REPEAT x 2) bat, bay, bet, beat, bit, bite, box, bug, boot, boy, bough, bear, balmy, bird, board, beer, and bureau.
Now we’re going to say some P words. This sound is very similar to the B sound. Listen to the difference. I’ll say the P sound first and then the B sound. Listen carefully to how similar they are. Can you hear the difference: P, B, P, B, P, B, P, B.
So we make the P sound with no throat sound. If you put your hand on your through and make the B sound, you’ll feel a vibration. If you put your hand on your throat and make the P sounds, you will feel a much smaller vibration. So the B sound vibrates and P sound is slightly higher and doesn’t vibrate.
To make the P sound, squeeze your top and bottom lip together and explode out your breath.
Now say these words with me:
(REPEAT x 2) pat, pay, pet, Pete, pit, pine, pocket, pug, pool, point, pow, pear, palm, perm, pork, peer, and putrid.
Now let’s do a B sound and P sound and you need to try to distinguish or hear the difference. You also need to try to say the sound so it’s clearly different. I’ll say the vibrating B sound twice and then I’ll say the non-vibrating sound P twice.
BAT BAT PAT PAT
BAY BAY PAY PAY
Notice that the B sound is further back in your throat. It’s deeper down. The P sound is further forward.
BET BET PET PET
BEE BEE PEE PEE
BIT BIT PIT PIT
BIND BIND PINE PINE
Now, before we continue on, it’s worth mentioning that we’re also practising important vowel sounds as well. So, yes, we’re practising the subtle difference between B and P but we’re also practising the a, e, i, o and u sound as well as the long vowel sounds A, E, I, O, U in addition to the combined vowel sounds OI, OW, AIR, IR, OR, EAR and URE.
Let’s keep going. Repeat after me.
BOX BOX POCKET POCKET
BUG BUG PUG PUG
BOOT BOOT POOP POOP
BOY BOY POINT POINT
BOUGH BOUGH POW POW
BEAR BEAR PEAR PEAR
BALM BALM PALM PALM
BIRD BIRD PERM PERM
BALK BALK POOR POOR
BEER BEER PEER PEER
BEAUTY BEAUTY PUTRID PUTRID
okay! how did you go with those sounds?
Hopefully now you can hear the difference and say each of them correctly. Remember that if you want help with your pronunciation, including the B and P sounds then check out E2 English and sign up to our pronunciation practice course (or advanced pronouniciation course) which will have your sounding super clear super quick.
Okay, let’s do a little more practise now. What I want to do is concentrate on the B / V sounds. This a common confusion. If you are from India then you probably don’t have the V sound in your first language.
So, again, we’ll practise the key B sound where you push your lips together explode out the air making sure your throat is vibrating.
But for the V sound, you need to put your top teeth on your bottom lip. Please do it. Put your top teeth on your bottom lip. People should be able to see your top teeth. Ready? You’re going to vibrate through your teeth: VVVVVVVVVV. VVVVVVVV. VVVVVVV.
Let’s now practise the V sound:
(x2) Vacuum, vacant, very, veto, victim, via, volume, vote, vulgar, voodoo, vow, verdant, vortex, veer, viewer.
Now let’s practise making the B sound next to the V sound. This is great pronunciation exercise. Ready?
Ban / Van / Ban / Van
Okay, fantastic! How did you find that? Were any of those sounds difficult for you to make? Hopefully you’re feeling confident about making B, P and V sounds clearly now. Remember that if you need extra practice then be sure to check out E2 English and also don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast for more pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. My name’s Mark and I’ll see you soon.