Minimal Pair List Consonant /h/ versus null, 172 pairs

   Minimal pair: Consonant /h/ versus null, 172 pairs

The /h/ sound only occurs initially or medially before a stressed syllable as in behind . It is spelled with <h> or <wh> in whose .

The /h/ sound occurs in 3625 words in the dictionary, and so this list has been worked out manually. The contrast is a source of difficulty for French, Italian and Swahili speakers among others. "Dropping the aitch" is associated with a Cockney (London) accent, where it is also coupled with insertion of /h/, sometimes emphatically, where there is no /h/ in the standard language. "I ope you hain't going to do that." This was brought out in the speech of Cheapside, the Cockney sparrow, in the Dr Dolittle books of Hugh Lofting, and in the speech of Willie Garvin in the earlier Modesty Blaise books.

The density value is 4.7%. The list makes 108 semantic distinctions, a loading of 63%.

hacks axe
had ad
haft aft
hail ail
  hails ails
hail ale
  hails ales
hale ail
hale ale
hair air	
  hairs airs
hair heir	
  hairs heirs
hair e'er
hair ere
hair Ayr
hare air	
  hares airs  
  hared aired
hare heir	
  hares heirs
hair e'er
hare ere
hare Ayr
Herr air
Herr heir
Herr e'er
Herr ere
Herr Ayr
hake ache
Hal Al
hall all
hall awl   
  halls awls
ham am
hand and
hank anch
  hanks anchs
hap app
harder ardour
hark arc
  harking arcing
  harked arced
  harks arcs
hark ark
  harks arks
harm arm
  harms arms
  harming arming
  harmed armed
hart art
  harts arts
hash ash
hasp asp
  hasps asps
hat at
hate ate
haul all
haul awl	
  hauls awls
haw awe	
  haws awes
haw or
haw ore	   
  haws ores
hawk auk
  hawks auks  
hay A
haze A's  	
head Ed
heal eel
  heals eels
  healing eeling
  healed eeled
hear ear
  hears ears
  hearing ear-ring
heard erred
hearse Erse    
heart art
  hearts arts	 
  hearty arty
heat eat
  heats eats
  heating eating
heave eve
  heaves eves
hedge edge
  hedges edges
  hedged edged
  hedging edging
heel eel
  heels eels
  heeling eeling
  heeled eeled
hell L
  hells L's
helm elm
  helms elms
helves elves
hem M
  hems M's
hen N
  hens N's
her err
  hers errs
herd erred
here ear  
hew ewe
  hews ewes
hew you
hews use
hi eye	 
  hied eyed
  hies eyes
hi I
hid id	
hides Ides
high eye
high I 
hike Ike
hill ill
  hills ills
his is
hit it
hitch itch
  hitches itches
  hitched itched
  hitching itching
ho O
ho owe 
hoe O
  hoes O's
hoe owe    
  hoes owes
  hoeing owing
  hoed owed
hoar oar 
hoar or
hoar ore   
hoard awed
hoax oaks
hocks ox
hod odd
  hods odds
hold old
holder older  
holed old
home ohm
  homes ohms
hone own
  hones owns
  honing owning
  honed owned
hoops Oops
hop op
  hops ops
horde awed
host oast
hotter otter
how ow
hue you		  
Hugh you
hurl earl
  hurls earls
Hyde eyed  
whore oar	
  whores oars
whore or
whore ore    
  whores ores                  
whose ooze