Consonants /h/ versus /r/, 277 pairs     [hashrash.html]

The /h/ sound is spelled with <h> or <wh> in whose. The /r/ sound is spelled with <r> or <wr> in wry. Notice how the homograph complex read/reading/Reading pairs with head, heed and heeding, while row pairs with hoe and how.

This is a contrast between a voiceless glottal fricative and a voiced retroflex continuant, only occurring in syllable-initial position. The contrast is not a problem, although the individual sounds may be difficult for some learners.

Interesting pairs include:

handsome ransom
hector rector
hellish relish
honey runny
humble rumble

The mean density value is 2.2%. The lists make 134 semantic distinctions, a loading of 48%.

ha rah
habit rabbit
  habits rabbits
hack rack
  hacked racked
  hacking racking
  hacks racks
haft raft
  hafts rafts
hag rag
  hags rags
hail rail
  hailed railed
  hails rails
  hailing railing  
hair rare  
hake rake
hale rail
Halle rally
ham ram
  hammed rammed
  hamming ramming
  hams rams
hand rand
  hands rands
handy randy
  handier randier
  handiest randiest
handsome ransom
hank rank
  hanks ranks
hanker rancour
  hankers rankers
hansom ransom
  hansoms ransoms
hap rap
  happed rapped
  happing rapping
  haps raps
hare rare
  haring raring
hash rash
  hashes rashes
hasp rasp
  hasps rasps
haste raced
hat rat
  hats rats
hatch ratch
  hatches ratches
hatchet ratchet
  hatchets ratchets
hate rate
  hated rated
  hates rates
  hating rating
hatter ratter
  hatters ratters
haven raven
  havens ravens
haw raw
haw raor
  hawed roared
  haws roars
hay ray 
Hayling railing
haze raise
  hazed raised
  hazes raises
  hazing raising
he re
head read	
head red 
  heads reds
heady ready
  headier readier
  headiest readiest
heading Reading 
heal real
heal reel
  healed reeled
  healing reeling
  heals reels 
heap reap  
  heaped reaped
  heaping reaping
  heaps reaps
hear rear
  hearing rearing
  hears rears
heave reeve
  heaves reeves
heck wreck
hecks Rex 
hector rector
  hectors rectors	
heed read  
heeding reading
heeds reads
heel real
heel reel
  heeled reeled
  heeling reeling
  heels reels
height right 
  heights rights
hellish relish
helm realm
  helms realms
hen Rennes 
hen wren
  hens wrens
hep rep
Herr rare
Hexham Wrexham
hi rye
hi wry
hick rick 
hide Ryde 
hide ride
  hides rides
  hiding riding
  hidden ridden
  hidings ridings
hies rise
high rye
high wry
  higher wrier
  highest wriest
  highly wryly
hike Reich 
  hikes Reichs 
Hinckley wrinkly
hind rind
  hinds rinds
hissed wrist
hive rive
  hived rived
  hives rives
  hiving riving
ho roe
ho row
hoar roar
hoard roared
hob rob 
  hobs robs
hock roc
hock rock
  hocked rocked
  hocking rocking
  hocks rocks
hockey rocky
hod rod 
  hods rods
hoe roe
hoe row
  hoes rows
  hoeing rowing
  hoed rowed
hoed road
hoes rose 
hold rolled
hole rôle
  holes rôles
hole roll
  holing rolling
  holes rolls
  holed rolled
home Rome 
home roam
  homes roams
  homing roaming
  homed roamed
Hon Ron
hone roan
  hones roans
honey runny
Hoo roo
Hoo rue		
hoof roof
  hoofs roofs
hook rook
  hooked rooked
  hooking rooking
  hooks rooks
hooky rookie
hoot root
  hooted rooted
  hooting rooting
  hoots roots
hoot route
  hooted routed
  hooting routing
  hoots routes
hope rope
  hoped roped
  hopes ropes
  hoping roping
horde roared  
hose rows
hose rose
  hoses roses
hosier rosier
host roast
  hosted roasted
  hosting roasting
  hosts roasts
hot rot
  hots rots
  hotted rotted
  hotting rotting
hotter rotter
Houghton Wroughton
hound round
  hounded rounded
  hounding rounding
  hounds rounds
house rouse
  housed roused
  houses rouses
  housing rousing
hove rove
how row
hub rub
  hubs rubs
huddle ruddle
  huddled ruddled
  huddles ruddles
  huddling ruddling
huff rough
  huffed roughed
  huffing roughing
  huffs roughs
huff ruff
  huffs ruffs
huffish roughish
hug rug
  hugs rugs
hula ruler
  hulas rulers
hum rum
humble rumble
  humbled rumbled
  humbles rumbles
  humbling rumbling
hump rump
  humps rumps
hunt runt
  hunts runts
hush rush
  hushed rushed
  hushing rushing
  hushes rushes
husk rusk
  husks rusks
hustle rustle
  hustles rustles
  hustling rustling
  hustled rustled
hustler rustler
  hustlers rustlers
hut rut
  huts ruts
  hutted rutted
hymn rim
  hymned rimmed
  hymning rimming
  hymns rims
overhaul overall 
  overhauls overalls 
overheat overeat 
  overheating overeating 
  overheats overeats 
whom rheum 
whom room
whose rues 
whose ruse

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.