Minimal Pair List Vowels 13 and 16, / eɪ / versus / əʊ / 417 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 13 and 16, / eɪ / versus / əʊ / 417 pairs

The / eɪ / diphthong is spelled <aCe>, <ai>, <ay> or <ey> in obeyed , and occurs in the letter names A , J and K . The / əʊ / diphthong is spelled <oCe>, <o>, <ow>, <oa> and <eau> in beau , and occurs in the letter name O .

This is a contrast between two diphthongs with different starting positions and direction of movement. It is not a problem for any learners.

Interesting pairs include:

basin bo'sn
belay below
clayey Chloe
crazier crosier
gaily goalie
paler polar
rapier ropier
sabre sober
taken token

The density figure is 6.5%. The set makes 230 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 55.1%.

  A's O's
abbé Abo
abbés Abos 
obeyed abode 
ache oak
  aches oaks
acre ochre
aid ode		
  aids odes
aid owed
ailed old
aim ohm
  aims ohms
A-level O-level
  A-levels O-levels
anus onus
arrays arose 
Asian ocean
  Asians oceans
ate oat
attain atone 
  attained atoned 
  attaining atoning 
  attainment atonement 
  attains atones 
awake awoke
  awaken awoken
bail bole
  bails boles
bailed bold
bale bole
  bales boles
bait boat
  baited boated
  baiting boating
  baits boats
baize beaux
baize bows
bane bone
based boast
basin bo'sn
  basins bo'sns
baste boast
  basted boasted
  bastes boasts
  basting boasting
bay beau
  bays beaux
bay bow
  bays bows
  baying bowing
  bayed bowed
bey beau
  beys beaux
bey bow
  beys bows    
bayed bode
behave behove
  behaved behoved
  behaves behoves
  behaving behoving
belay below
betaken betoken
blade blowed
blaze blows
brake broke
breaker broker
  breakers brokers
cake coke
  caked coked
  cakes cokes
  caking coking
cakes coax
came comb
cane cone
  caned coned
  canes cones
  caning coning
cape cope
  capes copes
cased coast
cave cove
  caves coves
clave clove
clayey Chloe 
crake croak
  crakes croaks
crane crone
  cranes crones
craze crows
crazier crosier
dace dose
dado dodo
  dados dodoes
daisy dozey
  daisies dozes
dale dole
  dales doles
dame dome
  dames domes
date dote
  dated doted
  dates dotes
  dating doting
day do
day doe
  days does
days doze
daze doze
  dazed dozed
  dazing dozing
  dazes dozes
drain drone
  drained droned
  draining droning
  drains drones
eight oat
  eights oats
enable ennoble
  enabled ennobled
  enables ennobles
  enabling ennobling
fail foal
  failed foaled
  failing foaling
  fails foals
fain phone
fake folk
  fakes folks
fame foam
  famed foamed
feign phone
  feigned phoned
  feigning phoning
  feigns phones
fey foe
flay floe
  flays floes
flay flow
  flayed flowed
  flaying flowing
  flays flows
fray fro
frays froze
gaily goalie
gait goat
  gaits goats
gale goal
  gales goals
gay go
  gays goes
glade glowed
glaze glows
grace gross
  graced grossed
  graces grosses
  gracing grossing
grain groan
  grained groaned
  grains groans
grape grope
  grapes gropes
grate groat
  grates groats
grave grove
  graves groves
gray grow
  grayer grower
  graying growing
  grays grows
great groat
hail hole
  hailed holed
  hailing holing
  hails holes
hail whole
  hails wholes
hailed hold
hale hole
hale whole
haste host 
hay ho
haze hoes
haze hose
  hazed hosed
  hazes hoses
  hazing hosing
hazier hosier
J Jo
jake joke
  jakes jokes
Jane Joan
Janie Joanie
K Co 
kail coal 
Kate coat
lading loading
laid load
laid lowed
lain loan
lain lone
lame loam
lane loan
  lanes loans
lane lone
laves loaves
lay lo
lay low
  laying lowing
  lays lows
layer lower
  layered lowered
  layering lowering
  layers lowers
made mode
maid mode
  maids modes
mail mole
  mails moles
mailed mould
main moan
  mains moans
make moke
  makes mokes
male mole
  males moles
mate moat
  mated moated
  mates moats
May Mo
May mow
  Mays mows
mazes moseys
mellow mêlée
  mellows mêlées
nail knoll 
  nails knolls 
name gnome 
  names gnomes 
nape nope 
nation notion
  nations notions
nay know
nay no
neigh know
  neighs knows
  neighing knowing 
neigh no  
neighed node
overlaid overload
paced post
pail pole 
  pails poles 
pain pone
pains pones
pale pole
  pales poles
pale poll
  paled polled
  paling polling
  pales polls
paler polar
palish Polish 
paste post
  pasted posted
  pastes posts
  pasting posting
patent potent
  patently potently
pays pose
phase foes 
praise pros
praise prose
pray pro
  prays pros
prays prose  
raced roast
raid road 
  raids roads
rail roll
  railed rolled
  railing rolling
  rails rolls
rain roan
  rains roans
raise rose 
  raises roses
rape rope
  raped roped
  rapes ropes
  raping roping
rapier ropier
rate rote
rate wrote
rave rove
  raved roved
  raves roves
  raving roving
raver rover
  ravers rovers
ray roe
ray row
  rays rows
reflate refloat
  reflated refloated
  reflates refloats
  reflating refloating
repays repose
sabre sober
  sabred sobered
  sabres sobers
  sabring sobering
sailor solar	
sail sole 
  sails soles
sail soul
  sails souls
sale sole
  sales soles
sale soul
  sales souls  
sane sewn
satiable sociable
say sew
  saying sewing
scaled scold
shade showed
shale shoal
slay sloe
  slays sloes
slay slow
  slays slows
  slaying slowing
slayer slower
sleigh sloe
  sleighs sloes
sleigh slow
  sleighed slowed
  sleighs slows
  sleighing slowing
spade Spode 
spake spoke
spayed Spode
staid stowed
stain stone 
  stained stoned
  staining stoning
  stains stones
stainless stoneless
stake stoke
  staked stoked
  stakes stokes
  staking stoking
stale stole
  stales stoles
state stoat
  states stoats
stave stove
  staves stoves
stay stow
  staying stowing
  stays stows
  stayed stowed
strayed strode
tail toll
  tailing tolling
  tails tolls
  tailed tolled
tailed told
tailgate tollgate
  tailgates tollgates
take toque
  takes toques
taken token
tale toll
  tales tolls
tame tome
  tames tomes
tape tope
  taped toped
  tapes topes
  taping toping
taper toper
  tapers topers
taste toast
  tasted toasted
  tastes toasts
  tasting toasting
taster toaster
  tasters toasters
they tho'
trail troll
  trailed trolled
  trailing trolling
  trails trolls
traipse tropes
underrate underwrote
vague vogue
vale vole
  vales voles
wade woad
wailed wold
waive wove
wave wove
wake woke
waken woken
way whoa  
way woe
  ways woes
weigh whoa
weigh woe
  weighs woes  
wraith wroth