How to pronounce /b/ and /v/ in English

These two tongue twisters focus on the difference in English pronunciation between the sounds /v/ and /b/. Let's start with the tongue twister "Betty loves the velvet vest best" and then we'll try "Vivian believes violent violet bugs have very big value".


Vivian believes violent violet b...

So let's have a look at a very common difficulty in English pronunciation for quite a few languages and this is the difference between /v/ and /b/

/v/ is a voiced sound, so we can feel that vibration in our vocal chords, so just put your hand on your throat to feel the vibration and /b/ is also voiced, so you can feel a vibration in your vocal chords. We'll start with a short one and then we're going to look at a slightly longer one. Once you get a big more confident, you can try the longer one. "Betty loves the velvet vest best"

Because this is quite short it's actually quite a good one to practise, because you don't have too many words to remember. You could start by practising the last two words, see if that helps between the /v/ of vest and /b/ of best. "Betty loves the velvet vest best"

The vowel sounds in this tongue twister are...

Let's try a longer one. Now you're feeling a bit more confident, we'll try a longer one to practise those same sounds. "Vivian believes violent violet bugs have very big value".

So your homework is to practise those tongue twisters.

You can get in touch with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Like the video, share it with your friends and go to to take an English course online with me. Good luck, keep practising and I'll see you soon.

How to pronounce /b/ and /v/ in English