Minimal Pair List Consonants /t/ versus /z/, 446 pairs

   Minimal pair: Consonants /t/ versus /z/, 446 pairs

The spelling of /t/ is usually <t>, <te> or <tt>, but we also often see <ght> in sight . The /z/ sound is &lts>, <se>, <z> or <zz>. Notice how the homograph bows makes pairs with boat and bout .

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced fricative, close together in the mouth. The sounds are widespread in most of the world's languages, and the contrast is not a problem for learners.

A few of the pairs arise from contrasting a -t past participle with a 3rd-person -s , burnt/burns , spilt/spills , etc. Many pairs arise from contrasting a word ending in -t with a plural, cart/cars . This accounts for the relatively high semantic loading, since these pairs cannot be inflected further.

Interesting pairs include:

climate climbers
determinate determiners
faucet forces
granite grannies
littered lizard
mutely muesli
sitters scissors
winter Windsor

The mean density value is 1.8%. The list makes 380 semantic distinctions, a loading of 85%.

abate obeys
acute accuse 
alight allies
aright arise
art R's
at as 
ate A's
aught awes
avert avers 
bait baize
bandit bandies 
bant banns 
Bart baas
batik bezique
battle Basil 
beat B's 
belt belles 
belt bells
bent bens 
Bert burrs
bight buys
bight byes
billet billies
bit biz
bite buys
bite byes
blurt blurs 
boat beaux 
boat bows
bolt boles 
bolt bowls
boot boos 
boot booze
  booting boozing
booty boozy
bought boars 
bought bores
bout boughs 
bout bows
Brent Brens 
Bridget bridges
bruit brews
bruit bruise 
  bruiting bruising 
brute brews
brute bruise
built bills 
bullet bullies
burnt burns 
but buzz
butt buzz
  butting buzzing
butter buzzer
  butters buzzers
buttered buzzard
cannot cannas 
cant cans 
can't khans 
cart cars 
caught cause
caught caws
cent sends
chart chars 
chat Chas 
cheat cheese
chute shoes
cite size
  citing sizing
cite sighs  
civet civies
climate climbers
colt coals 
communicate communiqués
competition composition
  competitions compositions
complaint complains 
confute confuse 
  confuting confusing 
conjoint conjoins 
  constraint constrains 
cont cons 
coot coos 
corset corses 
corset courses
coterie causerie 
  coteries causeries 
court cause
  courting causing 
court caws  
covert covers 
covet coveys
crate craze
crotchet crotches 
cult culls 
curt curs 
cute cues
cute Q's 
cute queues
date days
date daze
  dating dazing
daunt dawns
dealt dells
debt Des 
dent dens 
despite despise 
determinate determiners
dhotis dozes
diet dyers
dint dins 
distraint distrains 
ditty dizzy
  ditties dizzies
doesn't dozens
dolt doles 
dote does 
dote doze
  doting dozing
doubt dhows 
doubt dowse
  doubting dowsing
drought drowse
dwelt dwells 
eat E's 
eat ease
  eating easing 
edit eddies 
eight A's 
emigrate émigrés 
excite excise 
  exciting excising 
exit X's
faint feigns
fate phase
faucet forces
fault falls 
feat fees
feet fees
felt fells 
ferret ferries
fête phase
  fêting phasing
fillet fillies
fit fizz
  fitting fizzing
fleet fleas
flight flies 
float floes
flute flues 
footfault footfalls 
fort fours
fought fours
freight frays 
freight phrase
  freighting phrasing
fright fries 
gait gays
gait gaze
gallant gallons
gamut gammas 
gate gays
gate gaze
  gating gazing
gent gens 
ghat gauze 
gloat glows
goat goes
granite grannies
grate grays
grate graze
  grating grazing
great graze
great grays
groat grows
guilt gills 
gullet gullies
habituate habitués 
Haiti hazy
halt halls 
Harriet harriers
hat has 
hatchet hatches 
hate haze
hating hazing
haunt horns
heat he's 
height hies
hilt hills 
hit his 
hoot whose
hunt Huns 
hurt hers 
incite incise 
  inciting incising 
it is 
jilt gills 
joint joins 
junket junkies
jute Jews 
Kate K's 
Kent kens
kilt kills 
lancet lances 
late lays
late laze
later laser 
latter lazar
learnt learns 
lent lens 
let Les 
lied leas 
light lies 
littered lizard
loot loos 
loot lose
  looting losing
looter loser
  looters losers
lucent loosens 
malt mauls
mart Mars 
matchet matches 
mate Mays 
midget midges 
milt mills 
misspelt misspells 
mitre miser 
  mitres misers 
mitten mizen
  mittens mizens
moat mows
moated moseyed
moot moos 
motel moselle 
  motels moselles 
moult moles 
mute mews 
mute muse
  muting musing 
mutely muesli 
natal nasal 
naught gnaws 
newt news 
note knows 
note nose
  noting nosing 
oat O's 
ought awes
overstate overstays
overwrought overawes 
paint pains 
pant pans 
panty pansy
  panties pansies 
part parrs 
part parse
  parting parsing 
parties parses 
pate pays
peat P's
peat peas
pennant pennons
pert purrs
Pete P's 
Pete peas
phut fuzz 
pint pines 
plaint plains 
plate plays
pleat pleas 
pleat please
  pleating pleasing 
plight plies 
poppet poppies
port pause 
  porting pausing 
port paws
prate praise 
  prating praising 
privet privies
pullet pulleys
punt puns 
puppet puppies
pursuit pursues 
quiet choirs 
quilt quills 
quit quiz
  quitting quizzing
ratchet ratches 
rate raise 
  rating raising 
rate rays  
rattle razzle
refute refuse 
  refuting refusing 
regent regions
regiment regimens 
relate relays
rent wrens
restraint restrains 
ret res 
retort resort 
  retorted resorted 
  retorting resorting 
  retorts resorts 
right rise
  righting rising
rite rise
Robert robbers
root rues
rotary rosary 
  rotaries rosaries 
rote rose 
rout rouse 
  routing rousing 
runt runs 
saint seines
scant scans 
scent sends
scout scows
seat C's 
seat seize
  seating seizing
sent sends
set says 
sextant sextons
sheet she's 
short shores 
shunt shuns 
sight size
sight sighs
silt sills 
site size
site sighs
sitters scissors 
skeet skis
skint skins 
slate slays
sleety sleazy 
  sleetier sleazier 
  sleetiest sleaziest 
smelt smells 
snort snores 
socialite socialize
sooty Susie 
sort soars 
Southport southpaws
spate spays
spelt spells 
spilt spills 
spirt spurs
spite spies 
spoilt spoils 
sport spores 
spout spouse 
start stars 
state stays
statute statues 
stilt stills 
stoat stows
straight strays
stunt stuns 
suit sous 
summat summers
sunburnt sunburns 
T zee
talent talons
tap zap
  tapped zapped
  tapping zapping
  taps zaps
tar Tsar
  tars Tsars
tart tars 
taught tawse
taught tors
teat T's
Ted Z
Teds Z's
teeter teaser
  teeters teasers
ten Zen
tenant tenons
tent tens
test zest
thought thaws
throat throes
tight ties
tilt tills
ting zing
tint tins
tip zip
  tipped zipped
  tipping zipping
  tips zips
to zoo
tomb zoom
  tombs zooms
tonal zonal
tone zone
  toned zoned
  tones zones
  toning zoning
too zoo
toot twos
tort tawse
tort tors
tote toes
tote tows
trait trays
treat trees
trite tries
tweeters tweezers
two zoo
  twos zoos
unlearnt unlearns
Violet violas
volt voles
vulcanite vulcanize
wait ways
warrant warrens
wart wars
watt was
welt wells
went wens
wert whirrs
wheat wees
whereat whereas
whit whiz	
white Y's
white wise
  whiter wiser
  whitest wisest
Wight Y's
Wight wise
wilt wills
winter Windsor
write rise
  writing rising
  writings risings 
  written risen  
  wrote rose
writer riser 
  writers risers 
wrought roars 
Yate yeas