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Minimal Pairs - /ɪ/ and /i:/ - Detailed Explanation

grammar minimal pairs pronunciation short video lessons vocabulary
English with Kris Amerikos
Minimal Pairs - /ɪ/ and /i:/ - Detailed Explanation
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As you may be aware, minimal pairs are two words that differ by a single sound and can be confusing for non-native learners of the English language.

Today we are going to focus on the vowel Minimal Pair - /ɪ/ and /i:/. 

Difference Between i and i:

/i:/ is a longer sound like EE - try saying ‘seem’:  did you notice the front tip of the tongue rising higher towards the tooth ridge?

/ɪ/ is a short sound - try saying ‘sim’, the front tip of the tongue lowers a little bit.

Let’s Practice:

Bin and Bean                                                                                                

  • Bin: a container for rubbish / Bean: edible seed
  • Beans are packed with nutrients.

Bit and Beat

  • Bit: a small part of something / Beat: to hit repeatedly
  • Practice keeping the beat, it is a bit off.

Chip and Cheap

  • Chip: a small thin piece / Cheap: low priced
  • Do not grin, the green bin was cheap as chips.

Chick and Cheek

  • Chick: baby bird / Cheek: soft part of the face below the eyes, on either side of the nose
  •  That chick with fluffy cheeks is my favorite.

Dip and Deep

  • Dip: to go down to lower level / Deep: far down from the top surface
  • I took a dip in the deep sea.

Did and Deed

  • Did: past tense of do / Deed: an action
  • Did you file the property deed with the land office?

Fill and Feel

  • Fill: to make full / Feel: to physically touch something or to experience an emotion
  • The dentist filled the hole in my tooth yesterday, I feel much better now.

Fit and Feet

  • Fit: healthy / Feet: plural of the foot (a part of the body)
  • Feet ache when shoes do not fit.

Fist and Feast

  • Fist: the hand closed tightly with fingers bent into the palm / Feast: special meal served at a party or celebration
  • She celebrated her wedding with a large feast for family and friends.

Grid and Greed

  • Grid: a pattern of straight lines that cross over each other vertically and horizontally / Greed: selfish and uncontrolled desire for more of something.
  • Greed can be deadly.

Grin and  Green

  • Grin: wide smile / Green: a colour
  • Do not grin, the green bin was cheap as chips.

Hid and Heed

  • Hid: past tense of hide (to keep out of sight) / Heed: to pay attention 
  • He did not heed the teacher's warning and kept chattering.

Hip and Heap

  • Hip: a joint that connects leg to upper body / Heap: an untidy pile of something
  • I fell on a heap of rocks and injured my hip.

Hit and Heat

  • Hit: to strike or be struck / Heat: high temperature
  • We were hit hard by the heat wave.

Hill and Heel

  • Hill: raise part of Earth’s surface smaller than a mountain / Heel: rounded back part of the foot.
  • I bumped my heel while running down the hill.

It and Eat

  • It: third person pronoun / Eat: to put food in the mouth and chew it.
  • Is it healthy to eat out?

Itch and Each

  • Itch: a sensation on the skin that makes you want to scratch / Each: every person or thing in a group.
  • Each one of us had an itchy rash.

Knit and Neat

  • Knit: to make a garment or cloth with yarn and needles / Neat: well-ordered or tidy
  • She can knit neatly.

Lick and Leak

  • Lick: move the tongue over a surface / Leak: to escape through a crack or hole in a pipe or container 
  • Call the plumber to fix the leak.

Lip and Leap

  • Lip: either of the two outer parts of the mouth / Leap: to jump
  • He leaped and fell and cut his lip.

List and Least

  • List: a set of information written one below the other / Least: smallest in size or degree
  • This list is the least I could do.

Live and Leave

  • Live: to have life / Leave: to go away from someone or something
  • Leave your worries behind and live in the moment.

Pip and Peep

  • Pip: a small seed of a fruit / Peep: a quick or secretive look
  • Some fruit pips are harmful to eat.

Pill and Peel

  • Pill: a small solid mass of medicine that is swallowed whole / Peel: to remove the outer covering
  • I will eat the peach after I peel it.

Pick and Peak

  • Pick: to pluck or to choose / Peak: highest or important point
  • Pick an alternate route to avoid peak hour traffic. 

Pitch and Peach

  • Pitch: quality of sound / Peach: a stone fruit
  • I will eat the peach after I peel it.

Rich and Reach

  • Rich: wealthy / Reach: to arrive at a place
  • Work hard and you can get rich and reach the heights you deserve.

Rid and Read

  • Rid: to be free of something or someone unwanted / Read: an act of getting meaning by looking at written words
  • Read books to get rid of boredom.

Sit and Seat

  • Sit: a position when one’s bottom rests on a surface and supports the body / Seat: a place to sit 
  • The bike seat was so uncomfortable I couldn’t sit for long.

Ship and Sheep

  • Ship: a large boat / Sheep: farm animal with wool
  • He tried to seek the sick sheep on the ship.

Sick and Seek

  • Sick: unwell / Seek: search for or try to find
  • He tried to seek the sick sheep on the ship.

Sip and Seep

  • Sip: to drink with small mouthfuls / Seep: to pass slowly through small holes
  • Water was seeping through the cracks in the wall.

Slip and Sleep

  • Slip: to slide and fall / Sleep: state of resting your body with closed eyes
  • I am going to slip into bed and go to sleep.

Sin and Seen

  • Sin: an act against religious or moral laws / Seen: past particle of see
  • Murder is seen as a sin but not a death penalty.

Still and Steel

  • Still: not moving or making a sound / Steel: a hard tough metal
  • Steel is still the most important engineering material.

Win and Wean

  • Win : to succeed in a competition / Wean: to cause a child or young animal to stop taking mother’s milk and start eating solid food.
  • We will need to wean off fossil fuels to win the fight against climate change.

Will and Wheel

  • Will: to express future tense or someone’s ability to do something / Wheel: a circular simple machine that revolves on an axle
  • The wheel will turn.

 

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English courses that get results.

Individual courses, group courses, professional courses, intensive courses, and more.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED LIVE  SPEAKING COURSE

English-Everyday

Online English Classes

  • SPEAK LIVE face-to-face with a native teacher every day.
  • Master pronunciation by regular speaking practice with partners.
  • Topics that will help you in real life.
  • Speak and BE UNDERSTOOD by people around the world.
  • BONUS: Full Intermediate Course
  • BONUS: Full Upper-Intermediate Course
  • BONUS: Job Interview Course
  • SUPER BONUS: More than 5,000 self-study lessons
Learn more about English-Everyday

PREMIUM COURSES

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Personal And Professional Growth

  • INDIVIDUAL LESSONS: 8 private classes per month
  • SPEAK LIVE: 90 speaking lessons per month with native teachers.
  • SIGNATURE PROGRAM: Full Level Up training portal
  • Placement test and certificate of completion
  • BONUS: Weekly coaching calls with Kris Amerikos
  • BONUS: Private community to ask questions 24/7
  • BONUS: Level Up Mindset Course with advanced vocabulary
  • SUPER BONUS: Personal welcome call with Kris Amerikos
Learn more about Level Up

Teaching Business Catalyst

Start Or Grow Your Business

  • SELL YOUR KNOWLEDGE to people who need it
  • SIGNATURE PROGRAM: Step-by-step business growth
  • Create a COURSE OR PRODUCT and a high-ticket offer
  • PLATFORM: Collect payments and deliver your services 
  • PROMOTION: Set up and launch PROFITABLE ads
  • BONUS: Weekly coaching calls with Kris Amerikos
  • BONUS: Private community to ask questions 24/7
  • BONUS: Simplified Organic Growth Course
  • SUPER BONUS: Personal welcome call with Kris Amerikos
  • SUPER BONUS: 90 days of personal coaching
Learn more about Teaching Business Catalyst

STANDARD ONLINE ENGLISH COURSES

General English

Speaking about a wide range of useful topics that will improve your confidence and fluency. Learn vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar while speaking with teachers and other students.

Learn more

Business English

Level up in your career. Our method will help you get promotions, pay raises, larger contracts, new clients, and more. Let us show you how English can grow your bottom line.

Learn more

Travel English

Make new friends in new places around the world and maximize your travel experience. Learn how to enhance your adventure through clever communication and make unforgettable connections.

Learn more

Corporate Training

Get detailed reports detailing ROI and learning progress. Your account manager will create a custom learning plan based on your needs. Learn according to your timetable with our flexible scheduling 24/7.

Learn more

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