IPA phoneme /b/

From Teflpedia


boy /bɔɪ/

In Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /b/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "boy", and "band" and the final one in "pub" and "globe".

/b/ is a voiced consonant; its unvoiced counterpart is IPA phoneme /p/.

Common words[edit]

IPA vowels
æ ɑː
trap father - start
dress face square
ɪ ɪə
kit fleece near
ɒ əʊ ɔː
lot goat taught
ʊ ʊə
foot goose mature
juː jʊə
cute cure
ʌ ə ɜː
strut comma nurse
price mouth choice

Some common words which practice the initial pronunciation of /b/ include the following:

  • ball - bear - bird - black - blue - body - book - bring - brother - bull - busy

Some common words which practice the mid-position pronunciation of /b/ include the following:

  • able - about - cabbage - double - number - problem - public - rabbit - remember - subject

Some common words which practice the final pronunciation of /b/ include the following:

  • club - disturb - grab - job - pub - verb - web


Normally double "b" is pronounced as a single /b/ (as in "rabbit" or "grabbing"). In the following examples two /b/'s are pronounced.

  • subbasement, subbranch, subbronchial

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit]

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.


The main difficulty is the difference between /b/ and /v/, that is, they may have difficulty distinguishing between "ban" and "van".

The spelling confuses some students and they may pronounce silent "b"s, as */klaɪmb/ for "climb" (/klaɪm/).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]