Definition : Fricative consonants are formed when the two articulators move close together leaving only a small passage through which the airflow is forced, causing the air molecules to "bump together", thus creating audible friction.
Examples from English:
- /f/ as in feet /fi:t/ : unvoiced labiodental fricative
- /v/ and in very /veri:/ : voiced labiodental fricative
- /θ/as in think /θɪŋk/: unvoiced dental fricative
- /ð/ as in that /ðæt/: voiced dental fricative
- /s/ as in sew /səʊ/: unvoiced alveolar fricative
- /z/ as in was /wɒz/: voiced alveolar fricative
- /ʃ/ as in wash /wɒʃ/: unvoiced palato-alveolar fricative
- /ʒ/ as in treasure /treʒə/: voiced palato-alveolar fricative
Fricatives are continuant sounds, ie sounds which can be made without stopping (until your lung air runs out).
More reading from An ELT Notebook : English Consonant Sounds