Do you make the F and V sounds clearly? This video will help you differentiate between these two sounds, and understand when the V consonant is weak.
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I want to practice a bit more with the F and V sounds. To begin, the word ‘of’. It is spelled O-F, and it is a common mispronunciation to say uh-ff or oh-ff, ff, because it is spelled with an F at the end. But it is, in fact, pronounced as a V. Of, of. And that brings me to the next thing I want to talk about, and that is: the V, when it is not pronounced by itself as a sound, vv, but rather, when it’s used in word. Of, of. It’s so quick (ever, every), that sometimes the bottom lip here doesn’t actually have time to vibrate, to make that vv sound. But it is important that you still make sounds with your vocal cords. Otherwise, it will sound just like the F sound. So, it may be just as simple as vuh, vuh. Do you see how my lip moves so slightly up into the position? Vuh, and sound is produced here with the vocal cords. Ever, every, everything.
Some of my students have problems hearing the difference in these sounds when speaking at a normal pace – when I or someone else is speaking at a normal pace. So, I am going to contrast two words, fast and vast. And I am going to, at the beginning, very much exaggerate the beginning consonant sound, and eventually I will speed it up to normal conversation. [fast – vast] Did you hear a difference there towards the end? What the difference is, is that, as I said, a sound has to start here. So fast, ff, when you’re just letting air escape, the sound is made with the ff, the air coming through the lips. So, the sound is here. When you’re saying vast, the consonant vv, the sound starts here because it starts with the vocal cords. So it quickly comes and moves up. Ff, vv, ff, vv, fast, vast. When I say fast, it feels like it comes from here. When I say vast, it feels like it comes from here.
Let’s practice some words starting with the ff sound: fast, friendly, financial, flower, free. And a few words starting with the vv sound: vague, vehicle, victory. And now, some longer words, where these sounds come either at the middle or at the end: even, ever, effort. Do you hear the difference in those two words? Ever, evvver, effort, efffffort. Active, sensitive, vv, vv. The sound at the end, when it is a V, is so subtle. If the sound at the end is an F, it tends to be a little more strong. Staff, staff. Active, vv. It’s so short. Everything, everything, different, different, solve, solve.