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5 Best Minimal Pairs Worksheets for Proper Pronunciation

minimal pairs worksheets

Minimal Pairs Worksheets

In linguistics, minimal pairs are two similar sounding words that differ in only one phonological element and have distinct meanings.

For example, ship and sheep both sound the same. But they differ in one sound.

Today, we provide you with the 5 best minimal pairs worksheets that have helped us with listening comprehension.

For some teachers and students, minimal pairs go to uncharted territories.

READ MORE: 43 Examples of Minimal Pairs: The Big List for English Pronunciation Practice

1. Pronunciation Pyramid

Pronunciation Pyramid Worksheet

First, everyone starts at the top of the pyramid. Next, the teacher says the word, and students have to circle it. Until everyone reaches the bottom, there’s only one spot where everyone should finish.

2. Similar Sentences

Similar Sentences

When the teacher reads each sentence, students have to listen carefully. Can they distinguish between the minimal pairs?

3. Minimal Pairs ESL Cards

13 Smush It

Beforehand, the teacher has to cut out these cards and have them spread out on the desk for each pair. When the student speaks the minimal pair, students have to grab the correct word faster.

4. Listening Test

40 Listening Test ESL Worksheets

Listen to your teacher’s pronunciation for each minimal pair. After you hear them speak, they add a checkmark to the correct word.

5. Minimal Pairs in Pictures

Minimal Pairs Worksheet

As the teacher speaks each word, students have to circle the word here. As with all minimal pair worksheets in this list, this focuses on identifying similar sounds.


  1. I love these. I had a student that had been calling her swim attire a baby suit instead of a bathing suit for years. The problem is real.

  2. I am just starting to learn listening problems and your lesson about minimal pairs are very effective

  3. This is the first time I have been on you site and I am amazed at the detailed wealth of information and assistance you are providing. Thank you so much.

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