The sound /m/ voiced, bilabial, nasal consonant




  • "m" - him, film
  • "me" - time, home
  • "mm" - summer, common
  • "mb" - dumb, lamb
  • "lm" - calm, palm
  • "mn" (not common) - hymn


The sound /m/ can be in these clusters:
  • Beginning of a Syllable
/sm/ ("sm") - smell
  • End of a Syllable
/mz/ ("ms" / "mes") - rooms, homes 
/md/ ("med" / "mmed" / "mbed") - aimed, hummed, combed
/lm/ ("lm") - film
/lmz/ ("lms") - helms
/lmd/ ("lmed") - filmed
/rm/ ("rm") - form
/rmz/ ("rms") - harms
/rmd/ ("rmed") - armed
/zm/ ("sm") - realism
/zmz/ ("sms") - prisms
/ðm/ ("thm") - rhythm
/mp/ ("mp") - lamp
/mps/ ("mps") - camps
/mpt/ ("mpt" / "mped") - prompt, jumped
/mpts/ ("mpts") - attempts
/mf/ ("mph") - triumph
/mfs/ ("mphs") - nymphs
/mpft/ ("mphed") - triumphed

Grammar Tip:

The sound /m/ is used in the suffix "-ism." This suffix can be pronounced as one syllable (/ɪzm/) or two syllables (/ɪz-əm/). When "ism" is added, the stress of the word does not change.This suffix may be added to certain adjectives, nouns, or verbs. 
  • Adjective --> Noun: fatal --> fatalism, intellectual --> intellectualism
  • Noun --> Noun: tour --> tourism, alcohol --> alcoholism
  • Verb --> Noun: plagiarize --> plagiarism, criticize --> criticism
Compare /m/ with /n/:

These are both voiced nasal consonants. However, /m/ is a bilabial consonant while /n/ is an alveolar consonant. When you pronounce /m/, your lips should touch each other.
You can recognize the difference between /m/ and /n/ in these words.
1. A. met, B. net
2. A. smack, B. snack
3. A. some, B. sun
4. A. term, B. turn
5. A. limes, B. lines
6. A. gaming, B. gaining

Now, compare /m/ and /b/:

These are both voiced, bilabial consonants. However, /m/ is a nasal consonant and /b/ is a stop consonant. When you pronounce /m/, air should flow out of your nose.

You can hear the difference between /m/ and /n/ in these words.
1. A. mean, B. bean
2. A. mom, B. bomb
3. A. hub, B. hum
5. A. rims, B. ribs
6. A. scammed, B. scabbed
4. A. unmeant, B. unbent
Listen and repeat these words.
1. map
2. meal
3. mother
4. smell
5. time
6. rooms
7. claimed
8. film
9. arm
10. camp
11. prompt
12. triumph
13. hammer
14. harmful
15. tumble
16. simple
17. remember
18. spasm
19. criticism
20. environment

Now, practice /m/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
1. family - moved - farm - His family just moved to a farm.
2. claimed - problem - simple - The teacher claimed that the problem was simple.
3. animals - harmed - making - film - No animals were harmed in the making of this film.
4. smell - smoke - campfire - I smell smoke from a campfire.
5. criticism - harmful - improve - Criticism can be harmful, or it can help you improve.
6. remember - mother's - number - Do you remember your mother's phone number?

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Consonants /d/ and /g/

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