Vowel Sounds in English

 



What are vowels and consonants
in English?


 

 The short vowel sounds in English are:

                                 
a-apple, and, ambulance,                              
e-eggs, enter, end, especially, etc.                              
i-Israel, it, is, if, intelligent,                              
o-orange, office, on, operation                               
u -up, umbrella, understand 

 The Magic e - Reading / Phonetics Rule

 

In the combination CvCe, two magical things happen:

   Consonant-Vowel-Consonant-e

 

1. The vowel makes a long sound, we say the name of the letter.

2. The e is silent, we don't pronounce it.

Here are some examples (minimal pairs) to illustrate this:

 a

 

 e

 

 i

 

 o

 

 u

        
a'a' e'e' i'i' o'o' u'u'        
mat mate  petPete kit kite  poppope  cut cute         
can cane her*here sitsite not note  muttmute        
taptape   delete ripripe  dot dote  hughuge         
                      
                      

1) This combination [CvCe] can be a word or part of a word,
at the beginning, middle or end.
For example: inspire, illustrate, athlete, appetite
 
2) This rule applies for most vCv combinations.
For example: surprising, simulation, community, simulation
 
3) The magic e rule has many, many irregulars, but it's a good rule of thumb for reading.
Examples of irregulars of the Magic e rule: give, forgive, live (verb only), have, active
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