Beginning of a Syllable
End of a Syllable
/lfs/ ("lfs") - gulfs
/rf/ ("rf") - scarf
/rfs/ ("rfs") - wharfs
/fs/ ("fs" / "ffs" / "ghs") - proofs, cuffs, coughs
/fθ/ (“fth”) - fifth
/fθs/ (“fths”) - fifths
/lfθ/ (“lfth”) - twelfth
/lfθs/ (“lfths”) - twelfths
/ft/ ("ft") - left
/fts/ ("fts") - shifts
Both /f/ and /v/ are labiodental fricative consonants. However, /f/ is voiceless and /v/ is voiced. When you pronounce /f/, your vocal cords should not vibrate. At the end of a word, the vowel before /f/ will be shorter than the vowel before /v/.
You can hear the difference between /f/ and /v/ in these words.
Now, compare /f/ with /θ/:
Both /f/ and /θ/ are voiceless fricative consonants. However, /f/ is a labiodental consonant, and /θ/ is an dental consonant. You should pronounce /f/ with your upper teeth rubbing against your lower lip.
You can hear the difference between /f/ and /θ/ in the words below.
Now, practice /f/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
You can't afford to forget your phone!
2. cough - fever - feels
He has a cough and a fever, so he feels very sick.
3. flying – after - final
I'm flying home after final exams.
4. family - friends - fireworks - fourth
My family and friends watched fireworks on July Fourth.
5. left – before – finished
I left before the class was finished.
6. fee - ferry - five
The fee for riding the ferry is five dollars.
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