For example, "Is there any cars available?"

When the speed of speech is getting faster, it isn't really going easy to make sure of making a lip formation about V where the bottom lip must be behind of the top.

In my case, when I do that, the lip formation has been going similar to B sound.

F sound is the same as well.

Here is my point, is that natural or should make exact formation as them selves?

  • 5
    I suggest that you ask this question at the English Language Learners forum (ell.stackexchange.com). And native speakers have no problem pronouncing the "v" in "available", even at high speed. – Pitarou Aug 2 '14 at 4:07
  • When I pronounce V, I nearly bite the top of my bottom lip. The top teeth rest on the bottom lip and then vibrate. – SrJoven Aug 2 '14 at 4:08
  • 2
    If you are making a "B" sound then your top and bottom lips are touching. When you say "V" the lips should not touch each other. – Jim Aug 2 '14 at 4:17
  • Thanks for leaving comment. Any how, that means do I have to bite my bottom lip with top teeth as sounding of them? – HyoinHa Aug 2 '14 at 5:41
  • 5
    No, you don't need to bite your lip. You need to practice. Put your mouth in the correct position slowly. Make the sound /v/ (or /f/, same position, same sound, but no throat voicing) alone. Repeatedly. Often. Several times a day. When you get it right, try doing it faster. Start with words that begin with /v/, /f/, /b/, /p/: vee, fee, bee, pee; van, fan, ban, pan etc. The trouble is doing it fast, with other consonants around. In available, the second syllable is stressed and starts with /v/, so that's easier than shouldn't've, which comes out shouldna for most natives. – John Lawler Aug 2 '14 at 14:51

Since you already know the lip position for "V" is somewhere between "F" and "B" the next thing to consider is air flow.

If you are getting a POP or "B" sound then you're cutting off your air flow.

The "V" sound needs constant airflow like the "F". If you try making an exaggerated F sound then slowly draw in your lower lip. You should feel the air flow begin to make your upper teeth and lower lip vibrate.

That little vibration is exactly what you need for a good V sound.

To develop your skill at making those 3 sounds practice this word combination: "Beaver Fever"

Begin slowly, focus on the consonants and the vowels will happen naturally. "Bee-Ver Fee-Ver" As you repeat that you should feel yourself making that transition more easily.

You may also want to think about how "V" relates to "W". "W" relies on a very similar air vibration, but it's between your upper lip and lower lip.

Try making an exaggerated "W" sound, then slowly pull your lower lip back. You will feel your upper lip stops vibrating but your lower lip still vibrates, when you draw it back far enough that your upper teeth vibrate then you're making a perfect "V" sound.

If you still get a "B" sound then you have accidentally drawn back both lips. To fix this, practice this word combination: "Weaver Viewer" Begin slowly, focus on keeping your upper lip completely still. With practice you should begin making the entire sound of both words by only moving your lower lip. "Wee-Ver View-Wer"

  • [w] and [v] are actually quite different in their air flow. [v] has only one place of articulation, which is labiodental; [w] has two, bilabial and velar. [v], a fricative (though usually quite a weak one in English) also has a much narrower closure of the vocal tract than [w], an approximant. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 13 '15 at 22:20
  • and amazingly the substance of all of those big words can be approximated by the movement described! – H.R.Rambler Jan 14 '15 at 13:51

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