The /h/ sound is spelled with <h> or <wh> in whose. The /r/ sound is spelled with <r> or <wr> in wry. Notice how the homograph complex read/reading/Reading pairs with head, heed and heeding, while row pairs with hoe and how.
This is a contrast between a voiceless glottal fricative and a voiced retroflex continuant, only occurring in syllable-initial position. The contrast is not a problem, although the individual sounds may be difficult for some learners.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 2.2%. The lists make 134 semantic distinctions, a loading of 48%.
ha rah habit rabbit habits rabbits hack rack hacked racked hacking racking hacks racks haft raft hafts rafts hag rag hags rags hail rail hailed railed hails rails hailing railing hair rare hake rake hale rail Halle rally ham ram hammed rammed hamming ramming hams rams hand rand hands rands handy randy handier randier handiest randiest handsome ransom hank rank hanks ranks hanker rancour hankers rankers hansom ransom hansoms ransoms hap rap happed rapped happing rapping haps raps hare rare haring raring hash rash hashes rashes hasp rasp hasps rasps haste raced hat rat hats rats hatch ratch hatches ratches hatchet ratchet hatchets ratchets hate rate hated rated hates rates hating rating hatter ratter hatters ratters haven raven havens ravens haw raw haw raor hawed roared haws roars hay ray Hayling railing haze raise hazed raised hazes raises hazing raising he re head read head red heads reds heady ready headier readier headiest readiest heading Reading heal real heal reel healed reeled healing reeling heals reels heap reap heaped reaped heaping reaping heaps reaps hear rear hearing rearing hears rears heave reeve heaves reeves heck wreck hecks Rex hector rector hectors rectors heed read heeding reading heeds reads heel real heel reel heeled reeled heeling reeling heels reels height right heights rights hellish relish helm realm helms realms hen Rennes hen wren hens wrens hep rep Herr rare Hexham Wrexham hi rye hi wry hick rick hide Ryde hide ride hides rides hiding riding hidden ridden hidings ridings hies rise high rye high wry higher wrier highest wriest highly wryly hike Reich hikes Reichs Hinckley wrinkly hind rind hinds rinds hissed wrist hive rive hived rived hives rives hiving riving ho roe ho row hoar roar hoard roared hob rob hobs robs hock roc hock rock hocked rocked hocking rocking hocks rocks hockey rocky hod rod hods rods hoe roe hoe row hoes rows hoeing rowing hoed rowed hoed road hoes rose hold rolled hole rôle holes rôles hole roll holing rolling holes rolls holed rolled home Rome home roam homes roams homing roaming homed roamed Hon Ron hone roan hones roans honey runny Hoo roo Hoo rue hoof roof hoofs roofs hook rook hooked rooked hooking rooking hooks rooks hooky rookie hoot root hooted rooted hooting rooting hoots roots hoot route hooted routed hooting routing hoots routes hope rope hoped roped hopes ropes hoping roping horde roared hose rows hose rose hoses roses hosier rosier host roast hosted roasted hosting roasting hosts roasts hot rot hots rots hotted rotted hotting rotting hotter rotter Houghton Wroughton hound round hounded rounded hounding rounding hounds rounds house rouse housed roused houses rouses housing rousing hove rove how row hub rub hubs rubs huddle ruddle huddled ruddled huddles ruddles huddling ruddling huff rough huffed roughed huffing roughing huffs roughs huff ruff huffs ruffs huffish roughish hug rug hugs rugs hula ruler hulas rulers hum rum humble rumble humbled rumbled humbles rumbles humbling rumbling hump rump humps rumps hunt runt hunts runts hush rush hushed rushed hushing rushing hushes rushes husk rusk husks rusks hustle rustle hustles rustles hustling rustling hustled rustled hustler rustler hustlers rustlers hut rut huts ruts hutted rutted hymn rim hymned rimmed hymning rimming hymns rims overhaul overall overhauls overalls overheat overeat overheating overeating overheats overeats whom rheum whom room whose rues whose ruse
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.