The b Sound (/b/ Phoneme)

In Received Pronunciation, the IPA phonetic symbol /b/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "boy", and "band" and the final one in "pub" and "globe".

The /b/ sound is a bilabial sounds, which means the lips are pressed together while producing the sound. It is also a voiced sound, which means that the vocal cords are vibrating when the breath is released from the lips. This is different than the unvoiced /p/ sound, for example, which gets its sound simply from the release of air.

Remember, /b/ is a voiced consonant; its unvoiced counterpart is IPA phoneme /p/.

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Examples of the b Sound

Here are some words that begin with the b sound:

  • between /bɪ’twiːn/
  • before /bɪ’fɔː/
  • black /blæk/
  • best /best/

Here are some words with the b sound in the middle:

  • problem /’prɒbləm/
  • number /’nʌmbə/
  • public /ˈpʌblɪk/
  • maybe /ˈmeɪbi/

Here are some words with the b sound at the end:

  • tube
  • describe /dɪˈskraɪb/
  • absorb /əbsɔ:b/
  • suburb /sʌbɜ:b/
Last modified: Sunday, 31 May 2020, 9:10 PM