English Pronunciation: B vs V sounds

One of the most common pronunciation mistakes that I hear is the pronunciation of the v sound as a b sound (for example, saying BERRY when you really mean to say VERY).

This is especially common among Spanish and Catalan speakers, but reviewing the difference between these two similar sounds can be useful for practically any English learner.

So check out this short, but useful video and then read the transcript to help you understand everything:

Transcript:

Hey RealLifers, what’s going on? This is Ethan with a special one minute video for you. So, today I’m going to talk to you about the difference between the B and the V sound in English.

This is a problem that is very common with Spanish and Catalan speakers, as in these languages the B and the V sound is often very similar or exactly the same. So, the B sound is very similar to the P sound, but instead of it being unvoiced, like the P sound, it’s voiced. So, what I mean by voiced is that, when you make it, your vocal chords vibrate. So, it’s… (B sound)

The V sound, is actually made quite differently. It’s made like the F sound, but it’s also voiced, like the B sound. So, that sounds something like this: (V sound), where your teeth touch your bottom lip. So, V, F.

EXAMPLES

  • berry very b vs vBerry and Very
  • Boat and Vote
  • Ban and Van
  • Serb and Serve
  • Lobes and Loaves

We hope you enjoyed this video and learned a lot about differentiating these two similar sounds. Remember to subscribe to us on YouTube and to our mailing list to help you take your English to the next level.

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7 Comments

  1. Andrea Caldana on March 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Nice!! Could be even nicer if you add some short texts or sentences including both sounds (minimal pair) for sts to read aloud. And if possible reduce background noises. Just a suggestion. Thanks! Like it very much indeed!

    • Ethan on March 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Hey Andrea, thanks for your feedback! Will definitely keep that in mind in the future. I’m glad you enjoyed 😉

  2. Mahabad Boskani on March 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Really good i hear every Day Your podcast it so amazing

  3. ?. ?. ????? ??????? on March 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    ok

  4. Monica Galesio on March 8, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Great! Thanks !!!

  5. Ethan Zinho on March 10, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Thank you!

  6. Stella Acosta on March 16, 2014 at 2:38 am

    REALLY GOOD..THANKS

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