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English Pronunciation: B and P Sounds 

B and P are made with the lips closed. B is a soft sound. P is a stronger sound with the air pushing out. In everyday speech, the difference is slight. Usually B or P will be understood based on the context or overall meaning.

For most people, the difference between B and P is most noticeable as the first or last letter of a common word. Use the word lists below to practice making two distinct sounds. After speaking these words, try the B and P reading practice.

Take a Listening Test

Practice Reading each word pair. Make sure your B's and P's are different.

1. A. big

2. A. bent

3. A. bin

4. A. bill

5. A. best

6. A. bay

7. A. bear

8. A. robe

9. A. rib

10. A. mob

11. A. cab

12. A. gab

13. A. bower

14. A. brick

15. A. blight

16. A. blank

17. A. blush

18. A. bound

19. breach

20. brim 

B. pig

B. pent

B. pin

B. pill

B. pest

B. pay

B. pear

B. rope

B. rip

B. mop

B. cap

B. gap

B. power

B. prick

B. plight

B. plank

B. plush

B. pound

B. preach

B. prim

Practice Tip: You can also use this list repeatedly with an instructor. Your instructor writes down a list of answers, then speaks the words to you. You write your answers and see if they match. You can also reverse this to check your pronunciation: you write down a set of answers, then speak, and see if your instructor was able to hear you correctly.

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Answers: 1. A. big, 2. A. bent, 3. B. pin, 4. A. bill, 5. B. pest, 6. B. pay, 7. B. pear, 8. A. robe, 9. B. rip, 10. A. mob, 11. A. cab, 12. B. gap, 13. B. power, 14. A. brick, 15. B. plight, 16. A. blank, 17. B. plush, 18. A. bound, 19. A. breach, 20. B. prim