What’s the difference between vowels and consonants?
The letters A E I O U are known as the vowels. These are speech sounds made without any blockage of airflow by parts of the mouth.
Each vowel has a long and a short sound.
- Long A, Short A
- Long E. Short E
- Long I, Short I
- Long O, Short O
- Long U, Short U
Every word has at least one vowel.
The word cat consists of the consonant c, short vowel a, and the consonant t.
The word bed consists of the consonant b, short vowel e, and the consonant d.
It is important to remember that the letter Y is special because it can sometimes be a vowel or a consonant. It can be a vowel or consonant depending on how it sounds in the word.
➜ E.g. In the word sky, the letter y makes a long vowel i sound, therefore in this case, the letter y is considered to be a vowel.
➜ E.g. In the word angry, the letter y makes a long vowel e sound therefore in this case, the letter y is considered to be a vowel.
In cases where the letter y makes its phonics sound, it is considered to be a consonant. This usually comes at the beginning of words, e.g. yellow, yacht, you, etc.
Vowels are important as they make up a syllable. Words are made up of different parts called ‘syllables’. Syllables are the different sounds used to make a word.
A E I O U (sometimes Y) are vowels. Every syllable has a vowel; therefore, we can count how many syllables there are in a word by identifying the number of pronounced vowels.
The different syllable sounds in a word can help us to read the word correctly.
The rest of the letters in the alphabet are known as consonants. These are speech sounds in which airflow is partially obstructed by parts of the mouth including the lips or tongue.
The consonants are: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z