Minimal Pair List 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