These are both bilabial stop consonants. However, /p/ is voiceless and /b/ is voiced. There is no aspiration after /b/ at the beginning of a word. At the end of a word, the vowel before /b/ will be longer than the vowel before /p/.
You can hear the difference between /p/ and /b/ in these words.
1. A. pie, B. buy 2. A. planned, B. bland 3. A. pride, B. bride 4. A. cup, B. cub 5. A. mops, B. mobs 6. A, staple, B. stable
These are both voiceless consonants that are pronounced using the lips. However, /p/ is a bilabial stop and /f/ is a labio-dental fricative. When you pronounce /p/, your teeth should not touch your lips and the air in your mouth should be stopped.
You can hear the difference between /p/ and /f/ in these words.
1. A. pat, B. fat 2. A. plush, B. flush 3. A. praise, B. phrase 4. A. lap, B. laugh 5. A. gulps, B. gulfs 6. A. coffee, B. copy
Listen and repeat these words:
1. past 2. pill 3. pray 4. please 5. spin 6. spring 7. wrap 8. lip 9. harp 10. grasp
Now, practice /p/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
1. please – sweep – mop Please sweep and mop the floor. 2. spring – plant – grapevines In spring we will plant some grapevines. 3. employment – apply – position Contact the employment agency to apply for a position. 4. purpose – project – provide The purpose of this project is to provide new community resources. 5. public – harp – performance We attended a public harp performance last night. 6. explain – company – procedures Can you explain the company’s hiring procedures?
To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below: