Voiced labiodental fricative
In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /v/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "very", and "visit" and the final one in "five" and "love".
Common words[edit | edit source]
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /v/ include the following:
- with initial "/v/": valley - value - van - variable - vary - vast - vegetable - vehicle - verb - version - very - veteran - victim - victory - view - village - virus - vision - visit - voice - vote
- with final "/v/": above - arrive - believe - drive - expensive - five - give - have - improve - live - love - move - observe - positive - prove - receive - remove - save - solve - survive - wave
- with "/v/" in mid position: activity - available - cover - develop - even - ever - evidence - government - however - individual - investment - level - never - over - provide - service - seven - travel
- /vr/: every - several
Spelling anomalies[edit | edit source]
- with "f": of. See Pronunciation exercises: "of" vs "off"
- with "ph": nephew /ˈnefjuː/ or /ˈnevjuː/ - Stephen
Plurals[edit | edit source]
Several plurals of words ending in /f/ are spelled with "ves" and pronounced /vz/.
- knife – knives; life – lives; loaf – loaves; wife – wives;
Note the following: beliefs, chiefs, gulfs, proofs, roofs. The plural of dwarf can be dwarfs or dwarves.
/v/ devoicing[edit | edit source]
/v/ can be changed to /f/ in very common phrases:
- the modal verb “have to” (meaning “must”) can be pronounced /ˈhæv tə/ or /ˈhæf tə/
- “of course” can be pronounced /əv kɔːrs/ or /əf kɔːrs/
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit | edit source]
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.
Spanish[edit | edit source]
There is no /v/ in Spanish, and "v" sounds /b/. This means that Spanish speakers will confuse "ban" and "van", "vowel" and "bowel". Also they will normally pronounce "of" like "off".
In Spanish "nv" is pronounced /mb/. This mean they may pronounce ""in view" like "imbue". Also, it is difficult for them to pronounce "circumvent".