Minimal Pair List Vowels 17 and 19, / aʊ / versus / eə / 33 pairs
The / aʊ / diphthong is spelled <ow> or <ou>. The / eə / diphthong is spelled <air> or <are>.
This is a contrast between two diphthongs with differences in starting position, direction of movement and lip-rounding. It is not a problem for any learner.
Interesting pairs include:
The density figure is 3.43%. The set makes 19 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 57.6%.
blouse blares bough bare boughs bares bough bear boughs bears bow bare bows bares bowed bared bow bear bows bears chow chair chows chairs cow care cowed cared cows cares dhow dare dhows dares foully fairly house hairs loud laird Maori Mary mow mare mows mares noun Nairn prow prayer prows prayers scow scare scows scares spouse spares wow ware wows wares wow wear wows wears