In this English pronunciation lesson, we will practise the pronunciation of the /b/ sound in English. As I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear, /b/ is quite an easy consonant to learn because there isn’t much variation in the spellings.
Pronunciation Difficulties with /b/
- Native Spanish speakers should take care not to pronounce /b/ as a /v/ sound. This error occurs because in standard Spanish the letters ‘b’ and ‘v’ sound alike.
- Speakers of Cantonese, Korean and Japanese may need to take extra care to pronounce /b/ at the end of words, as in ‘bathtub’ and ‘doorknob’.
Practice /b/ in Example Words and Phrases
Now practise your pronunciation with the individual words and example phrases below. Place close attention to your articulation and repeat-after-me as clearly as possible:
budge: budge up buddy
▶︎ ‘budge’ (n) or ‘budge up’ (phrasal verb) means to get someone or something to slightly move.
hobnob: hobnob a lot
▶︎ to ‘hobnob’ (v) means to attempt to become friends with famous or influential people.
bubble: bubble bath
knobbly: Dobby’s knobbly knees
▶︎ Something that is ‘knobbly’ has bumps on it. This phrase is a reference to Harry Potter (Dobby is an Elf in Harry Potter).
gibberish: scribble some gibberish
▶︎ ‘gibberish’ (n) refers to meaningless spoken or written words.
Extend your Learning
◼️ Part Two of this lesson. Practise /b/ in advanced words and phrases.
◼️ For extra practise on /b/ versus /v/ watch this lesson via Engvid.
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