Consonants /v/ versus /ŋ/, 81 pairs     [dovedung.html]

The /v/ sound is spelled with <v> or <ve>. The /ŋ/ sound is spelled <ng>.

The contrast is between a labio-dental fricative and a velar nasal continuant, both voiced, and only occurring in syllable-final position. It is not a problem for learners.

All but 15 of the pairs arise from the contrast between an -ive adjective and an -ing verb form, such as suggestive/suggesting. An interesting clash of the two meanings of object arise in the pairing objective/objecting. Other interesting pairs include:

active acting
dative dating

The mean density value is 1.1%. The list makes 73 semantic distinctions, a loading of 90%.

abortive aborting 
active acting 
addictive addicting 
adoptive adopting 
assertive asserting 
attractive attracting 
coercive coercing 
collective collecting 
conducive conducing 
conductive conducting 
connective connecting 
constructive constructing 
convulsive convulsing 
corrective correcting 
costive costing 
creative creating 
cursive cursing 
dative dating 
deductive deducting 
defective defecting 
depressive depressing 
detective detecting 
digestive digesting 
directive directing 
disruptive disrupting 
dove dung
effective effecting 
elective electing 
exhaustive exhausting 
expressive expressing 
have hang 
  haves hangs 
  having hanging 
impressive impressing 
inductive inducting 
instructive instructing 
interactive interacting 
introspective introspecting 
intuitive intuiting 
inventive inventing 
live ling 
  lives lings 
love lung
  loves lungs
massive massing 
missive missing 
objective objecting 
obsessive obsessing 
obstructive obstructing 
oppressive oppressing 
overactive overacting 
possessive possessing 
preventive preventing 
progressive progressing 
prospective prospecting 
protective protecting 
purposive purposing 
recessive recessing 
reflective reflecting 
regressive regressing 
repressive repressing 
repulsive repulsing 
resistive resisting 
respective respecting 
restive resting 
restrictive restricting 
retrogressive retrogressing 
river ringer 
  rivers ringers 
selective selecting 
sieve sing
  sieves sings
  sieving singing
sliver slinger 
  slivers slingers 
sportive sporting 
sportively sportingly 
subjective subjecting 
suggestive suggesting 
suppressive suppressing 
votive voting 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010
updated Chiang Mai, 2024