What Are Some Examples of Consonants?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 1, 2020 12:08:51 PM ET

Examples of consonants in the English language include "b," "g," "l," "t" and "f." A consonant is a type of letter whose sound is made when the flow of air is interrupted or limited by the placement of the tongue, teeth or lips.

The English language has 21 consonant letters. Some of these letters can produce more than one sound, such as "c" and "g." "C," for instance, sounds like a "k" before the vowels "a," "o" and u," and like an "s" before the vowels "e," "i" and "y." "G" can make either a "g" sound or a "j" sound, based on the same rules. "S" can make either an "s" sound or a "z" sound.

Consonant letters can also be grouped together to produce different consonant sounds. For example, "c" and "h" can be combined to produce the "ch" sound. "T" and "h" can be combined to produce the phonetic symbol "?," as in "thought," as well as the phonetic symbol "ð," as in "this." Thus, despite having 21 consonant letters, English has 25 consonant sounds.

Consonants are formed in different ways. For example, "b" and "p" are bilabial consonants, which means that the lips are brought together to create the sound. "F" and "v" are examples of labiodental sounds, which are made with the lower lip and upper teeth. "T," "d," "s" and "z" are alveolar sounds, made with the tongue and the ridge behind the upper teeth.