Minimal Pair List Vowels 2 and 13, / ɪ / versus / eɪ / 368 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 2 and 13, / ɪ / versus / eɪ / 368 pairs

Vowel / ɪ / appears in its common spellings of <i>, <e> and <y>. Vowel / eɪ / has a great many spellings included in this list, among them <aCe> as in drape , <ai> as in bait , <ei> in deign , <ay> in lays , the highly irregular <ao> in gaol , and in French loan words <et> as in bidet and <é> as in canapé . It is also there in the letter names A and H .

Although this contrast is between a short vowel and a diphthong, it is potentially a problem for speakers of languages which do not have an [ eɪ ] diphthong and replace it with a mid front vowel. This is a known problem for some Arabic speakers and Swahili speakers.

In most cases the contrast is made in the stressed syllable, but where it is not I doubt whether the distinction is always consistent. Magnet/magnate are close to being homophones, and the same might be true of parky/parquet and Sunday/sundae .

The homograph gill appears in the pairs gill/Gael and gill/gaol , one for each pronunciation of <g>.

The only taboo word confusion is piss/pace .

Interesting pairs include:

bootless bootlace
forehead forayed
nipples Naples
pillowed payload
risen raisin
syllable saleable
The mean density is 1.5%. The list makes 192 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 52%.
Abbey abbé 
  abbeys abbés 
abyss abase 
  abysses abases 
bally ballet 
beady bidet
bib babe 
  bibs babes 
bicker baker 
  bickers bakers 
bid bayed 
bill bail
  billed bailed 
  billing bailing 
  bills bails 
Billy Bailey 
billies baileys 
bin bane 
bit bait 
  bits baits
biz beys 
bootless bootlace 
brick brake 
  bricked braked 
  bricking braking 
  bricks brakes 
brill braille 
caches cachets
canopies canapés 
canopy canapé 
chin chain 
  chins chains 
crick crake 
  cricks crakes 
dill dale 
dim dame 
  dims dames 
din Dane 	 
  dins Danes
din deign
  dinned deigned 
  dinning deigning 
  dins deigns 
divvy Davey 
dizzy daisy 
  dizzies daisies 
djinn Jane 
drip drape 
  dripped draped 
  dripping draping 
  drips drapes 
fill fail 
  filled failed 
  filling failing 
  fillings failings 
  fills fails 
fin fain
fin feign
Finn fain	 
Finn feign
  Finns feigns
firebrick firebreak 
  firebricks firebreaks 
fisher fascia
  fishers fascias 
fissure fascia
  fissures fascias
fit fate 
  fits fates 
fit fête
  fits fêtes
  fitted fêted 
  fitting fêting 
fit feat 
  fits feats
fix fakes 
fizz phase
  fizzed phased
  fizzes phases
  fizzing phasing
flick flake 
  flicked flaked 
  flicking flaking 
  flicks flakes 
forehead forayed 
forgive forgave 
forty forte 
  forties fortes 
frill frail 
fritter freighter 
  fritters freighters 
frizz frays 
frizz phrase
  frizzed phrased
  frizzes phrases
  frizzing phrasing
  frizzle phrasal
gill Gael 
  gills Gaels 
gill gaol
  gills gaols 	 
gillie gaily 
gin Jane
give gave 
grid grade 
  grids grades 
grill grail 
  grills grails
grille grail
  grilles grails 
grin grain 
  grinned grained 
  grins grains 
grip grape 
  grips grapes 
grist graced 
grit grate 
  grits grates 
  gritted grated 
  gritting grating 
gyms James 
gyp jape
  gyps japes
hick hake 
hill hail 
  hills hails 
his haze 
hissed haste 
hit hate 
  hitting hating 
  hits hates
id aid 
ill ail 
  ills ails 
is A's 
it eight 
itches H's 
kick cake 
  kicked caked 
  kicking caking 
  kicks cakes 
kill kail 
kin cane
kip cape 
  kips capes 
kipper caper 
  kippers capers 
kiss case 
  kissed cased 
  kisses cases 
  kissing casing 
kit Kate 
Kitty Katie 
lick lake 
  licks lakes 
limb lame
  limbed lamed 
  limbs lames 
limn lame
  limning laming 
  limned lamed
  limns lames
list laced 
lit late 
litter later 
live lave 
  lived laved 
  lives laves 
  living laving 
Liz lays
Lizzy lazy
Lymm lame 
Lynn lain
magnet magnate 
  magnets magnates 
Mick make
mid made 
midden maiden 
  middens maidens 
middies maydays 
middy mayday 
mill mail 
  milled mailed 
  milling mailing 
  mills mails 
mill male
  mills males
mingy mangy 
  mingier mangier 
  mingiest mangiest 
misgive misgave 
miss mace
  misses maces
mitt mate 
  mitts mates 
mix makes 
Ms Mays 
nil nail 
nip nape 
  nips napes 
nipples Naples 
overly overlay 
parky parquet
patty pâté
  patties pâtés 
pill pail 
  pills pails 
pillar paler 
pillowed payload 
pin pain 
piss pace 
  pissed paced 
  pisses paces 
  pissing pacing 
pit pate 
quick quake 
quicker Quaker 
quill quail 
  quills quails 
quiver quaver 
  quivered quavered 
  quivering quavering 
  quivers quavers 
rick rake 
  ricked raked 
  ricking raking 
  ricks rakes 
rid raid 
  ridding raiding 
  rids raids
ridge rage
  ridged raged 
  ridges rages 
  ridging raging 
rill rail 
  rills rails 
rip rape 
  ripped raped 
  ripping raping 
  rips rapes 
risen raisin 
riven raven 
river raver 
  rivers ravers 
saches sashets
scrip scrape 
  scrips scrapes 
script scraped 
Scyllas sailors
sedition sedation 
ship shape 
  shipped shaped 
  shipping shaping 
  ships shapes 
shiver shaver 
  shivers shavers 
sibyl sable 
  sibyls sables 
sill sale
  sills sails 
skill scale 
  skilled scaled 
  skills scales 
skilly scaly 
skin skein 
  skins skeins 
skit skate 
  skits skates 
skitter skater 
  skitters skaters 
slick slake 
  slicks slakes 
slid sleighed 
slit slate 
  slits slates 
  slitting slating 
snick snake 
  snicked snaked 
  snicking snaking 
  snicks snakes 
spick spake 
spin Spain 
spit spate 
  spits spates 
S's essays
stick stake 
  sticking staking 
  sticks stakes
still stale 
  stilled staled 
  stiller staler 
  stillest stalest 
  stilling staling 
  stillness staleness 
  stills stales 
stipple staple 
  stippled stapled 
  stipples staples 
  stippling stapling 
striven Strathaven 
Styx stakes
Sunday sundae
  Sundays sundaes
swiz sways 
syllable saleable 
thin thane 		
  thins thanes
tick take
  ticking taking 
  ticks takes 
ticker taker
  tickers takers 
tilde tailed 
till tail 
  tilled tailed
  tilling tailing 
  tills tails  
till tale
  tills tales
tiller tailor 
  tillers tailors 
Tim Thame 
tint taint 
  tinted tainted 
  tinting tainting 
  tints taints 
tip tape 
  tipped taped 
  tipping taping 
  tips tapes 
trill trail 
  trilled trailed 
  trilling trailing 
  trills trails 
trips traipse 
tryst traced 
twin twain 
  twins twains 
valid valeted 
valley valet 
  valleys valets 
vigour vaguer 
wake Wick 
whiff waif 
  whiffs waifs 
whin Wayne 
whist waist 
whit wait 
  whits waits
whiz ways 
wick wake 
  wicks wakes 
will wail 
  willed wailed 
  willing wailing 
  wills wails
wills Wales 
win wane
  winning waning
  wins wanes
wind waned 
wistful wasteful 
  wistfully wastefully 
witty weighty 
  wittier weightier 
  wittiest weightiest 
  wittily weightily 
wrist raced