The commonest spellings of /ɪ/ is <i>, but we also find <y> in tryst and <e> in unstressed prefixes, eg entitled. Spellings of /ʌ/ are most often <u> but we also find <ou> in double, and <o> in monk.
Both sounds are short and fairly central in the mouth, but there is enough difference of tongue angle to reduce the likelihood of confusion. This is not a recognised problem area for any specific group of EFL learners.
There are several cases in this list of strong verb tense contrasts, namely cling/clung, dig/dug, drink/drunk, fling/flung, sing/sung, sink/sunk, shrink/shrunk, sling/slung, spin/spun, spring/sprung, stick/stuck, stink/stunk, string/strung, swim/swum, swing/swung and win/won. There are also a number of words contrasting the prefixes in- or en- with un-, as in enfolded/unfolded. In some cases, such as indefinable/undefinable, there is very little difference of meaning.
Pairs involving taboo words include bigger/bugger, fix/fucks, piss/pus and shit/shut.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density is 2.2%. The list makes 241 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 48.9%.
begin begun Bicester buster bid bud bidding budding biff buff biffed buffed biffing buffing biffs buffs big bug bigger bugger bilk bulk bilked bulked bilking bulking bilks bulks bin bun bins buns bit but bits butts bitten button bitter butter bitters butters biz buzz blister bluster blistered blustered blistering blustering blisters blusters bristles Brussels busy buzzy busier buzzier busies buzzes chick chuck chicks chucks chicle chuckle chimp chump chimps chumps chink chunk chinks chunks cinder sunder cinders sunders cissies susses click cluck clicked clucked clicking clucking clicks clucks cling clung clink clunk clinked clunked clinking clunking clinks clunks killer colour killers colours constrict construct constricted constructed constricting constructing constriction construction constrictions constructions constricts constructs countersink countersunk cricks crux dibble double dibbled doubled dibbles doubles dibbling doubling Dick duck dickey ducky dickeys duckies Dicky ducky did dud differ duffer differs duffers dig dug digs dugs dill dull dim dumb dimly dumbly dimmer dumber dimmest dumbest dimness dumbness dimpling dumpling din done din dun dinned dunned dinning dunning dins duns disc dusk ditches duchies dig Doug dig dug drink drunk drinker drunker drinks drunks ditch Dutch enchain unchain enchained unchained enchaining unchaining enchains unchains enfold unfold enfolded unfolded enfolding unfolding enfolds unfolds enlisted unlisted enrol unroll enroled unrolled enroling unrolling enrolls unrolls ensure unsure entitled untitled entreated untreated enwrap unwrap enwrapped unwrapped enwrapping unwrapping enwraps unwraps fiddle fuddle fiddled fuddled fiddles fuddles fiddling fuddling fig fug figs fugs fin fun Finn fun fist fussed fit phut fix fucks fizz fuzz fizzy fuzzy fizzier fuzzier fizziest fuzziest flicks flux fling flung gild gulled guild gulled gill gull gills gulls gillie gully gillies gullies gimbals jumbles gist just glimmer glummer Guinea gunny hamstring hamstrung hill hull hills hulls him hum hint hunt hinted hunted hinting hunting hints hunts hit hut hits huts hitch hutch hitches hutches hymned hummed hymning humming hymns hums inborn unborn incited unsighted indefinable undefinable Indies undies indistinguishable undistinguishable ineffective uneffective informed unformed intended untended interned unturned is us Italy utterly jig jug jigged jugged jigging jugging jigs jugs jiggle juggle jiggled juggled jiggles juggles jiggling juggling jingle jungle jingles jungles jinks junks kid cud kill cull killed culled killing culling kills culls kilt cult kilts cults kip cup kipped cupped kipping cupping kips cups kipper cupper kippers cuppas kiss cuss kisses cusses kit cut kits cuts kitting cutting knit nut knitted nutted knits nuts nickel knuckle nickelled knuckled nickels knuckles lick luck licks luxe lift luffed limber lumbar limber lumber limbered lumbered limbering lumbering limbers lumbers limp lump limped lumped limping lumping limps lumps ling lung lings lungs list lust listed lusted listing lusting lists lusts livable lovable live love lived loved lives loves living loving liver lover livers lovers linden London lynch lunch lynched lunched lynches lunches lynching lunching Mick muck Mickey mucky mickle muckle mid mud middle muddle middles muddles middling muddling middy muddy middies muddies milch mulch milked mulct mill mull milled mulled mills mulls miller mullah millers mullahs millet mullet million mullion millions mullions mink monk minks monks misc musk misgiven misgovern missal muscle missals muscles miss muss missed mussed misses musses missing mussing mist must mists musts misty musty mistier mustier mistiest mustiest mistiness mustiness mitt mutt mitten mutton mix mucks mizzle muzzle mizzled muzzled mizzles muzzles Mr muster minster Munster nib nub nibs nubs nil null nit nut nits nuts peak puck peaks pucks pick puck picks pucks picker pucker pickers puckers piddle puddle piddled puddled piddles puddles piddling puddling pig pug pigs pugs pimp pump pimped pumped pimping pumping pimps pumps pinch punch pinched punched pinching punching pinches punches pink punk pinks punks pin pun pinned punned pinning punning pins puns pip pup pips pups piss pus pit putt pits putts pitting putting pitied putted pity puttee pities puttees pity putty pitying puttying pitied puttied pyx pucks rib rub ribbed rubbed ribbing rubbing ribs rubs rick ruck ricked rucked ricking rucking ricks rucks riddle ruddle riddled ruddled riddles ruddles riddling ruddling riff rough riffle ruffle riffled ruffled riffles ruffles riffling ruffling riffs roughs rift roughed rig rug rigs rugs rigger rugger rim rum ring rung rings rungs risk rusk risks rusks scrimmage scrummage scrimmages scrummages skid scud skidded scudded skidding scudding skids scuds skiff scuff skiffs scuffs skiffle scuffle skill scull skilled sculled skills sculls skim scum skipper scupper skippered scuppered skippering scuppering skippers scuppers skit scut skits scuts skittle scuttle skittled scuttled skittles scuttles skittling scuttling shin shun shinned shunned shinning shunning shins shuns shit shut shits shuts shitting shutting shrink shrunk sic suck sick suck sicked sucked sicking sucking sicks sucks sicker sucker sicker succour sickle suckle sickles suckles sift soughed silk sulk silkier sulkier silkiest sulkiest silkily sulkily silkiness sulkiness silks sulks silky sulky silly sully sillies sullies simmer summer simmered summered simmering summering simmers summers sin son sins sons sin sun sinned sunned sinning sunning sinless sunless sins suns sing sung sink sunk sip sup sipped supped sipping supping sips sups slim slum slimmed slummed slimming slumming slims slums sling slung slink slunk slit slut slits sluts sniff snuff sniffed snuffed sniffing snuffing sniffs snuffs sniffle snuffle sniffled snuffled sniffles snuffles sniffling snuffling snigger snugger spin spun spring sprung stick stuck stiff stuff stiffs stuffs stink stunk stint stunt stinted stunted stinting stunting stints stunts stricture structure strictures structures string strung swim swum swing swung this thus tic tuck tick tuck ticked tucked ticking tucking ticks tucks ticker tucker tickers tuckers tiff tough tiffs toughs timbrel tumbrel timbrels tumbrels Timmy tummy tin ton tins tons tinning tonning tin tun tins tuns tinny tunny tip tup tips tups tit tut trick truck tricks trucks trickle truckle trickled truckled trickles truckles trickling truckling tryst trussed tryst trust trysts trusts win one wins ones win won whin one whins ones whin won wince once wring rung wrings rungs wrick ruck wricked rucked wricking rucking wricks rucks wrist rust wrists rusts writ rut writs rutsGeographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen, Norway, Chine, France, Poland, Malaysia, India, Nigeria, Panama and Denmark. Average 15 visitors per month.
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2009