The subject of Voiced & Un-Voiced Consonants is an area of English that — un-fortunately — many teachers do not talk about very often. At least not beyond The “Th” Combination — or the difference between The “Ch” Combination and The Soft Letter “G”. So here it goes…
Simply put — ALL of the Consonants are either “Voiced” — meaning you make a sound as you hold your mouth in a certain way and push the air out with the addition of the tone of one’s voice… Or they are “Un-Voiced” — meaning you ONLY push the air out as you hold your mouth in a certain way — sans (without) the actual tone of you voice… In other words — the air moving out IS how the sound is made.
Another aspect of the “Voiced” Consonants that I have never really heard explained before is that: the tone that one makes in A “Voiced” Consonant, is always the same tone. It is basically the sound that you make when you say:
Therefore — it is NOT the actual tone that makes the particular sound. Instead — it is the way in-which the mouth, tongue, and throat are used — in-conjunction-with the “hard” sound of the Consonant.
The “hard” sound of both the Consonants “G” & “K” are the same. The difference is that The Letter “G” has the addition of the “Voice” added to it — and that is what makes the difference in the sound. The same is true with the Consonants “D” & “T”. The Letter “D” is Voiced — The Letter “T” is not. But the “hard” sound of the Consonant is exactly the same in both letters! (The same is true with ALL Voiced & Un-Voiced Pairs.)
The same is true with the “Soft” Sounding Consonants — like The Letter “S” and The Letter “Z”. You are doing exactly the same thing with your mouth & tongue when you make the sound of either letter.
What makes the difference in the sound is the tone of your voice on The letter “Z”. Where-as — with The Letter “S” — the sound is made strictly by forcing air out of the mouth with the way the mouth & tongue are placed.
So now that you got some philosophy — you can learn some technique. The video below gives a comparison of all the different “Voiced” & “Un-Voiced” Consonants in the English language — with a brief description of the difference between them. (But there are two mistakes in the video which are explained below.) 😎
Enjoy The Video!
Strangely — when she was making the different sounds, she did not do them in alphabetical order. Nor did she bother to mention which letters they correspond to. I’m not sure what her philosophy is on this matter, but here are the letters of the sounds in the order that she said them:
The examples she gave for the difference between the Voiced and Un-Voiced Consonants, before she actually gave the list of the different sounds were:
- Un-Voiced — The “CH” Combination
- T – /t/
- F – /f/
- P – /p/
- K – /k/
- Th – /θ/ — (as in “Thanks”)
- S – /s/
- Sh – /ʃ/
- Ch – /tʃ/
(Without A Pair)
- H – /h/
- M – /m/
- N – /n/
- Ng – /ŋ/
- L – /l/
- R – /ɹ/
- Y – /j/ ♥ — (Pronounced Incorrectly In The Video)
- W- /w/
I hope that that was more helpful than simply watching the video alone.
Have An Excellent Day!