Consonants /t/ versus /v/, 298 pairs     [testvest.html]

The spelling of /t/ is usually <t> or <tt>, but we also often see <ght>, <th> in Thai, and a silent-letter combination <pt> in receipt. The /v/ sound is <v> or <ve> throughout. I have included inflected pairs sich as carts/calves, even though they are not strictly minimal, on the grounds discussed under "Problems" in the main article.

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced fricative, well separated in the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

eaten even
hotter hover
pretension prevention
setter sever
tallied valid
tennis Venice
terminus verminous

The mean density value is 1.7%. The list makes 159 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.

abut above 
alight alive
aright arrive
at Ave 
beater beaver
  beaters beavers
Betty bevy
cart calve 
  carts calves
  carting calving 
carter carver
  carters carvers
cert serve
certitude servitude
cities civvies
cleat cleave
coat cove
  coats coves
conceit conceive
concert conserve
  concerting conserving
contention convention
  contentions conventions
contrite contrive
cover cutter
  covers cutters
crate crave
  crating craving
  crates craves
curt curve
date Dave 
dated David 
dealt delve
deceit deceive
desert deserve
  deserting deserving
  deserts deserves
desserts deserves  
dirt derv 
ditty divvy
  ditties divvies
eat Eve 
eaten even
enlighten enliven
  enlightened enlivened
  enlightening enlivening
  enlightens enlivens
fight five
  fights fives
fighter fiver
  fighters fivers
gait gave	 
gate gave
glut glove 
  gluts gloves
grate grave
  grates graves
grater graver
great grave
  greater graver
  greatly gravely
  greatest gravest 
greet grieve
  greeting grieving
  greets grieves
groat grove
  groats groves
hart halve 
hearty Harvey 
hat have
  hats haves
heart halve
heat heave
  heating heaving
  heats heaves
height hive
  heights hives
Hetton heaven
hooter Hoover 
  hooters Hoovers 
hotter hover
intent invent
  intents invents
intention invention
  intentions inventions
Kate cave
knot Nov 
lat lav
late lave
lied leave 
light live
lighten liven
  lightened livened
  lightening livening
  lightens livens
lightly lively
lit live
litre lever 
  litres levers 
litter liver
  litters livers
looter louvre
  looters louvres
moat mauve 
moot move
  mooting moving
natal naval
natty navvy
nettle Neville 
pate pave
  pates paves
Pete peeve
pretension prevention
pretty privy
  pretties privies
  prettily privily
quitter quiver
  quitters quivers
rate rave
  rates raves
  rating raving
  ratings ravings
receipt receive
  receipting receiving
  receipts receives
ret rev 
  retting revving
  rets revs
retreat retrieve
  retreating retrieving
right rive
  righting riving
  rights rives
rite rive
  rites rives	
rota rover
  rotas rovers
rote rove
rotor rover
  rotors rovers
SALT solve
sate save
  sating saving
  sates saves
setter sever
  setters severs
shut shove 
  shutting shoving 
  shuts soves
shuttle shovel 
  shuttled shovelled 
  shuttles shovels 
sit sieve 
  sitting sieving 
  sits sieves
slate slave
  slating slaving
  slates slaves
slaty slavey
sleet sleeve
  sleets sleeves
spit spiv
  spits spivs
start starve
  starting starving
  starts starves
startling starveling
state stave
  stating staving
  states staves
stoat stove
  stoats stoves
straighten Strathaven 
  T's V's
tack vac
  tacks vacs
tail vale
  tails vales
tail veil
  tailed veiled
  tailing veiling
  tails vales
tale vale
  tales vales
tale veil
  tales veils  
tally valley
  tallies valleys
tallied valid
tamp vamp
  tamped vamped
  tamping vamping
  tamps vamps
tan van
  tans vans
taper vapour
  tapers vapours
tarnish varnish
  tarnished varnished
  tarnishes varnishes
  tarnishing varnishing
tars vase
tat vat
  tats vats
taunt vaunt
  taunted vaunted
  taunting vaunting
  tauntingly vauntingly
  taunts vaunts
tea V
  teas V's
tear veer
  tears veers
teaser visa
  teasers visas
techs vex
tee V
  tees V's
tend vend
  tended vended
  tending vending
  tends vends
tender vender
  tenders venders
tennis Venice 
tent vent
  tents vents
terminus verminous
terrify verify
  terrified verified
  terrifies verifies
  terrifying verifying
Terry Verey
terse verse
tertian version
test vest
  tested vested
  testing vesting
  tests vests
text vexed
Thai vie
  Thais vies
throat throve
ticker vicar
  tickers vicars
tidy vide
tie vie
  ties vies
  tying vying
tile vile
tillage village
tiller villa
  tillers villas
tine vine
  tines vines
title vital
  titles vitals
tittle victual
toil voile
toll vole
  tolls voles
tote vote
  toted voted
  totes votes
  toting voting
towel vowel
  towels vowels
toyed void
Tyne vine
uneaten uneven
untarnished unvarnished
wait waive
  waiting waiving
  waits waives
waiter waiver
  waiters waivers
wait wave
  waiting waving
  waits waves
waiter waver
  waiters wavers
weight waive
  weighting waiving
  weights waives
weight wave
  weighting waving
  weights waves
weighty wavy 
  weightier wavier 
  weightiest waviest 
wheat we've 	
white wive
  whiting wiving
Wight wive	
write rive
  writes rives
  written riven 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.