The /h/ sound is spelled with <h> or <wh> in whose. The /ʤ/ sound is spelled with <j> or <g> before <e> or <y> in gym and exceptionally before <a> in gaol.
This is a contrast between a voiceless glottal fricative and a voiced alveolar affricate, only occurring in syllable-initial position. Although the /h/ can be difficult for some learners, the contrast is not a problem.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 3%. The lists make 59 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.
hack jack hacked jacked hacking jacking hacks jacks hag jag hags jags Hagen jargon hail gaol hailed gaoled hails gaols hailing gaoling hake Jake hale gaol ham jam hammed jammed hamming jamming hams jams ham jamb hams jambs hard jarred Harrow Jarrow has jazz haunt jaunt haunted jaunted haunting jaunting haunts jaunts haw jaw hawed jawed hawing jawing haws jaws hay J Hayling gaoling haze J's he G hear jeer hearing jeering hears jeers heinous Janus held gelled hell gel hells gels hem gem hemmed gemmed hems gems he-man G-man he-men G-men hen gen hens gens herald Gerald hilt jilt hilts jilts him gym him Jim hissed gist hive jive hived jived hives jives hiving jiving ho Joe hoar jaw hoe Joe hoax jokes hob job hobs jobs hockey jockey hog jog hogged jogged hogging jogging hogs jogs hoist joist hoists joists holly jolly Hon John hone Joan Hoo Jew hoot jute hot jot hots jots hotted jotted hotting jotting hotter jotter houri jury houris juries hove Jove howl jowl howls jowls hug jug hugged jugged hugging jugging hugs jugs humble jumble humbled jumbled humbles jumbles humbling jumbling hump jump humped jumped humping jumping humps jumps hunk junk hunks junks hunter junta hunters juntas hut jut huts juts hutted jutted hymn gym hymns gyms hymn Jim who Jew whore jaw whores jaws whose Jews
Credit: John Higgins