The F and V Sounds

f (four, lift, graph, tough)

v ( love, knives, grave, vine)

Consonant Fricatives
consonant is any letter in the alphabet that is not a vowel (vowels = a, e, i, o, u). Fricatives are consonants that are formed by stopping the air flow somewhere in the vocal tract, and then forcing the air through to produce a friction sound. With the F and V sounds, the air is stopped by pushing the bottom lip and top teeth together. The air is then pushed through to create the sound.
There are 9 fricatives in the English language: v sound, f sound, voiced th sound, unvoiced th sound, z sound, s sound, zh sound, sh sound, and h sound. (We will discuss these sounds in later lessons.)

The voiceless F sound (IPA symbol: f) is produced by stopping and releasing air between the bottom lip and the front side of the top teeth. 
This sound can be found in English words such as friend, for, laugh, after, life, phone, and stuff
Pronunciation Tip: Do not curl your lip too far under your top teeth to make this sound.  This is a common error many language students make. This makes it difficult to connect the F sound to other sounds in a word. 

The voiced V sound (IPA symbol: v) is produced in almost the same way as the F sound. Hold your lips and teeth in the same position. The V sound is different because it is voiced, meaning you produce a sound with your vocal chords. It can be found in English words such as love, knives, wolves,Valentine, and wave. 
The only difference between these two sounds is that the F sound is a voiceless sound and the V sound is a voiced sound
In the English language, we use many voiced sounds. That means that the vocal cords vibrate when you say that letter. You can hear a voiced Vsound in words such as "vine" and "cave."
The letter F is a voiceless sound because the vocal cords do not vibrate. Instead, we use a puff of air to produce the sound. If you hold a piece of paper in front of your mouth when pronouncing a voiceless sound, the paper should move from the puff of air. 
You can hear the voiceless F sound in words such as "for" and "wife." 

Practice the voiced V sound
Practice the voiced V sound by saying these words. Hold a piece of paper or your hand in front of your mouth to make sure you are voicing the consonant and not using a puff of air. The paper should not move.

  • vacation
  • five
  • love
  • knives
  • wolves
  • save
  • van
  • vine
  • drive
  • cave

Now practice the voiceless F sound
Use a piece of paper to practice the voiceless F sound. When you say this sound, you should release a puff of air from your mouth that moves the paper. Your vocal cords should not vibrate. 
The F sound can be spelled in four different ways: fffph, and sometimes gh

  • four
  • wife
  • knife
  • life
  • family
  • stuff
  • phone
  • graph
  • laugh
  • enough

Finally, practice the sounds side-by-side
Practice these two sounds side-by-side. Say one word from the V column, and then say one word from the column. Remember to voice the V sound and use a puff of air for the F sound!



















Challenge words: These words are a little more difficult. They have both sounds. The V sounds are in blue. The F sounds are in green:

  • five
  • favorite
  • favor
  • flavor
  • forgive
  • lifesaver
  • leftover
  • forgive

Now say these sentences out loud. 

The V sounds are in blue. The F sounds are in green:
1) His wife will drive the van.
2) I ha
vfive knives and four forks.
3) Will you 
phone before you visit the farm? 
4) My 
family loves to laugh on vacation. 
5) Sa
ve the four wolves who live in the cave.
6) Please 
forgive me for forgetting the leftover food! 

Good job! Let’s move on!



Giới thiệu về Cô Nhã

Cô Nhã (thạc sĩ chuyên ngành giảng dạy ngôn ngữ tại đại học Queensland, Australia), giáo viên Đại học Ngoại ngữ đã có kinh nghiệm dạy IELTS hơn 20 năm. Cùng với nhóm giáo viên của Đại học Ngoại ngữ trong những năm qua cô đã giảng dạy cho hàng ngàn học sinh, sinh viên, người đi làm. Rất nhiều trong số này đã đạt được 7.5 đến 8.5 trong kỳ thi IELTS.