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Consonants /�/ versus /ʃ/, 13 pairs     

The /�/ sound is spelled with <th>. The /ʃ/ sound is spelled with <sh>.

This is a contrast between a voiced dental fricative and a voiceless sibilant, fairly close together in the mouth. The separate sounds may be a problem for learners, but the contrast is so infrequent that it hardly matters.

One taboo word pairing is that/shat.

Thanks to the rarity of the /�/ sound, the mean density value is very low at 0.4%. The list makes 11 semantic distinctions, a loading of 85%.

other usher
  others ushers
pother posher 
that shat 
thee she 
their share 
  theirs shares 
thine shine 
though show 
those shows 
thy shy 
with wish 
withies wishes 

Credit: John Higgins