Unit 7.1

Minimal pairs

letters - 1 minute

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A minimal pair is a pair of words that differ in a single phoneme.


Minimal pairs are often used to show that two sounds contrast in a language.


  • sit –seat;
  • bat – but;
  • so – saw;
  • pin – bin.


  • Word 1 = Word 2, except for one sound which makes the difference.

A pair of words called minimal pair, differing only by one sound in the same position in each word, especially when such a pair is taken as evidence for the existence of a phonemic contrast between the two sounds.

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