Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

2.6: Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants

  • Page ID
    62937
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    Watch the Video

    Accent Diet

    Phonemic Chart

    Review the consonant sounds on the Phonemic Chart or the Interactive American IPA Chart. Which sounds are voiced and which sounds are unvoiced?

    Practice

    Are the Consonants Voiced or Unvoiced?

    Which of these sounds is voiced and which is unvoiced? Write "voiced" or "unvoiced" on the line.

    EXAMPLE: The "th" in "thumb." unvoiced

    1. The "th" in "mother." _________________
    2. The "b" in "bag." _________________
    3. The "p" in "pack." _________________
    4. The "d" in "ride." _________________
    5. The "t" in "right." _________________
    6. The "ng" in "singing." _________________
    7. The "y" in "yacht." _________________
    8. The "s" in "sea." _________________
    9. The "z" in "zoo." _________________
    10. The "l" in "let." _________________
    11. The "r" in "read." _________________
    12. The "h" in "home." _________________

    Rules to Remember 1

    Listen to each word pair. How are the vowel sounds different in these word pairs? Rules to Remember 1.m4a

    The final consonant sound is unvoiced. The final consonant sound is voiced.
    rope robe
    coat code
    pick pig
    leaf leave
    price prize
    Rule

    Vowels before final voiced consonants sound longer than vowels before unvoiced consonants.

    Rules to Remember 2

    Read each of these words out loud. Put your hand on your throat. Do you feel a vibration when you say the final sound of each word? Are the final sounds voiced or unvoiced?

    • play
    • go
    • die
    • knee
    Rule

    All the words above end with a vowel sound. Vowel sounds are always voiced.

    Practice

    Long or Short Vowel Sound?

    Do you hear a long or short vowel sound? Circle the word you hear. Practice - Long or Show Vowel Sound? .m4a

    1. lap / lab
    2. seat / seed
    3. coat / code
    4. rack / rag
    5. buck / bug
    6. tack / tag
    7. leaf / leave
    8. proof / prove
    9. peace / peas
    10. price / prize

    AnswerS - Practice - Long or Short Vowel Sound?.docx

    Choose the correct reply

    Listen to the speaker say sentence a or b. Put an X next to the correct reply. Voiced or unvoiced - choose the corrects reply.m4a

    Number Listen. Do you hear sentence a or b? Put an X next to the correct reply.
    1

    a. Did you see the price?

    b. Did you see the prize?

    ____ Yes! It's very expensive!

    ____ Yes! Congratulations on winning!

    2

    a. He gave me a buck!

    b. He gave me a bug!

    ____ He gave you a dollar? Why?

    ____ He gave you an insect? Why?

    3

    a. We need peace.

    b. We need peas.

    ____ Yes. War is bad for everyone.

    ____ Ok. I will go to the store.

    4

    a. Can you get me a rack?

    b. Can you get me a rag?

    ____ Do you want something to hang clothes on?

    ____ Why? Do you need to clean something?

    5

    a. Get him a seat.

    b. Get him a seed.

    ____ Does he need to sit down?

    ____ What is he planting? Fruit or vegetables?

    6

    a. He bought a pick.

    b. He bought a pig.

    ____ Does he play the guitar?

    ____ Why did he buy an animal?

    AnswerS - Choose the correct reply.docx​​​​​​​

    Check

    Check your answers with the class. Then listen and repeat both sentences and replies.

    Picture Dictionary

    Do you know these words? Work with a partner to match the words with the pictures.

    • pick
    • rag
    • rack
    • seed
    an orange guitar pick and guitar strings
    a hand cleaning the hood of car with a yellow rag
    two hands holding small, round, black seeds
    a clothes rack with hangers and clothes hanging on it
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Photos by MAYANK D on Unsplash, Matthew Dockery on Unsplash, Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash, and Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash

    Practice Speaking

    Work with a partner. Look again at each sentence. Student a, say sentence a or b. Student b, say the correct reply. Then switch roles.

    Notice Sounds in Real-World English

    Watch the video of Andy's interview. Remember to click the CC button so you can read the subtitles. Find at least 3 words with an unvoiced consonant ending and 3 words with a voiced consonant ending. Write them in the table below.

    Voiced Consonant Ending Unvoiced Consonant Ending

    Example: name

    Example: ask

     

    More Practice 1: Voiced or Unvoiced?

    Are the final sounds of each word voiced or unvoiced?

    Query \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    More Practice 2: Voiced or Unvoiced?

    Are the final consonants of each word voiced or unvoiced?

    Query \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Recording: Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants

    Read each of the sentences below. Remember to make the vowel sound before a voiced consonant long and clear. Make the vowel before an unvoiced consonant shorter.

    ____ / 12 points

    1. a. Did you see the price?
      • b. Did you see the prize?
    2. a. He gave me a buck!
      • b. He gave me a bug!
    3. a. We need peace.
      • b. We need peas.
    4. a. Can you get me a rack?
      • b. Can you get me a rag?
    5. a. Get him a seat.
      • b. Get him a seed.
    6. a. He bought a pick.
      • b. He bought a pig.

    This page titled 2.6: Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Brittany Zemlick.

    • Was this article helpful?