Pronunciation exercises: /ŋ/ vs /ŋk/

From Teflpedia


think /θɪŋk/


thing /θɪŋ/

Together with the page possible pronunciation difficulties, this page sets out some common words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of how they can improve their pronunciation of the sounds /ŋ/ and /ŋk/.

Depending on their mother tongue (L1), students may have difficulty distinguishing between these two sounds. More often than not, these supposed difficulties depend more on the interference of L1 than on the actual difficulties posed by English, and many, if not most students will greatly improve their pronunciation by simply becoming aware of certain differences - together with a minimum of practice.

Don't forget that intonation, linking and stress, both for individual words and for sentence stress, are also, of course, of vital importance in speaking better English.

Minimal pairs[edit]

  • with /ɪ/: ring - rink (as in "ice rink"); sing - sink; thing - think; ping - pink
  • with /æ/: bang - bank; rang - rank;
  • with /ʌ/: sung - sunk (past participle of "sink")

Variant pronunciations[edit]

  • length /leŋkθ, leŋθ/ - strength /streŋkθ, streŋθ/


See also[edit]