[p] ‘p’ as in ‘pit’

The P and B consonants.  These two sounds are paired together because they take the same mouth position.  P is unvoiced, pp, meaning only air passes through your mouth.  And B is voiced, bb, meaning, uh, uh, bb, you’re making a sound with your vocal cords.  To make this sound, the lips will stay together while the teeth part a little bit, pp, bb.  These are stop consonants.  In stop consonants, there are two parts.  There is a stop of the airflow, and a release.  So the stop of the airflow happens, pp, as the lips remain closed, and the release when they part and the air comes through.  Let’s look at the nature of a stop consonant in the sample word nap.  Na–, the lips are together, cutting off the airflow, nap, pp, and they part, the air is released.  Stop consonants at the ends of words or syllables are sometimes not released.  In other words, there’s just the first part, the stop of air flow.  Let’s take for example the sentence I’m going up later.  I’m going up later.  So the lips came together to make the P — I’m going up later — but when they opened and the sound continued, it simply went into the L consonant sound, which was next, without the release.  I’m going up, I’m going up, I’m going up later.

Here is the sound from the front, where the lips are together but the teeth are slightly parted. That is why it doesn’t look relaxed. And here from the side. Again, you can see this tension in the chin as the teeth are slightly parted even though the lips are closed. Here, parts of the mouth are drawn in. The soft palate is raised in this sound, and the tongue itself raises just a little bit, but the tip of the tongue is still touching the bottom front teeth. Sample words: pad, bad, pot, bought. Sample sentence: Pick a big print for the bedspread. Now you will see this sample sentence up close and in slow motion both straight on and from an angle, so you can really study how the mouth moves when making this sound.

Pick, the lips press together as the jaw drops slightly. A big, again, the lips press together as the jaw drops. Print, again the P sound. Tongue goes up to make the T. Lip comes up to make the F in ‘for’. The, lips together, bb, bedspread, and here again to make the P in spread. Jaw drops to make the ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’ vowel sound, and the tip of the tongue up to make the D. And here from an angle. The lips press together even as the jaw drops and the teeth part. Pick, the ‘ih’ as in ‘sit’ sound. Pick a big, again the lips come together for the B, big. And again for the P, print. Tongue up for the T. For the. Lips together for the B in bed-, and again for the p in -spread. The ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’ and the tongue up to make that D. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

International Phonetic Alphabet symbols: [p], [b]

For more detailed IPA information and to see these sounds occurrences in other languages, click here for [p] and here for [b].

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