Vowels 1 and 16, /i/ and //    154 pairs      [beetbout.html]

The common spellings of /i/ are in evidence, along with <ie> in niece. The // diphthong is always spelled <ow> and <ou> in this list, except in the case of the loan-word Frau.

This contrast would be very unlikely to cause any problems for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

breeze browse
feel foul
teasel tousle
unweaned unwound

The mean density value is 2.4%. The number of semantic contrasts is 83, a loading of 52%.

alee allow
B bough
  B's boughs
B bow
  B's bows
be bough
be bow
  being bowing
bead bowed
beat bout
  beats bouts
bee bough
  bees boughs
bee bow
  bees bows
beet bout
  beets bouts
breeze brows
breeze browse
  breezed browsed
  breezes browses
  breezing browsing
C sow
  C's sows
cease souse
  ceased soused
  ceases souses
  ceasing sousing
cheese chows
clean clown 
  cleaned clowned
  cleaning clowning
  cleans clowns
cleat clout
  cleats clouts
creed crowd
  creeds crowds
D dhow
  D's dhows
dean down
  deans downs
each ouch
east oust
eat out
  eater outer
  eating outing
  eats outs
eel owl
  eels owls
feel foul
  feeler fouler
  feeling fouling
  feels fouls
feel fowl
  feeler fowler
  feelers fowlers
  feeling fowling
  feels fowls
field fouled
field fowled
fiend found
  fiends founds
fleet flout
  fleeting flouting
  fleets flouts
free Frau 
grease grouse
  greased groused
  greases grouses
  greasing grousing
he how
heal howl
  healed howled
  healer howler
  healers howlers
  healing howling
  heals howls
heel howl
  heeled howled
  heeling howling
  heels howls
indeed endowed 
keel cowl 
  keeling cowling 
  keels cowls 
key cow 
  keyed cowed 
  keying cowing 
  keys cows
knee now
lead loud
  leader louder
lease louse
lied lout
  lieder louder
me mow
mead mowed
Meath mouth
meed mowed
mi mow
neat knout 
Nice nous
niece nous
peach pouch
  peached pouched
  peaches pouches
  peaching pouching
peat pout
Pete pout
plea plough
  pleas ploughs
plead ploughed
please ploughs
quay cow
quays cows
re row
read rowed
reed rowed
reedy rowdy
  reedier rowdier
  reediest rowdiest
sea sow
  seas sows
see sow
  sees sows
seize sows
sheet shout
  sheeted shouted
  sheeting shouting
  sheets shouts
skeet scout 
  skeets scouts 
ski scow 
  skis scows 
skier scour 
  skiers scours 
teasel tousle
  teasels tousles
teat tout
  teats touts
teen town
  teens towns
teeny townee
thee thou
treat trout
unweaned unwound
V vow
  V's vows
we wow
weaned wound
wee wow
  wees wows
wheeze wows
yield yowled
Geographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Jordan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Vietnam, Malaysia, Poland, Yemen, India and Syria. Average 14 visitors per month.

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011.