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1.1 Basic Concepts - Long and Short Vowel Sounds

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1.1 Basic Concepts - Long and Short Vowel Sounds


The alphabet used for English has 5 vowels,

A, E, I, O, and U

and there are at least 3 ways in which each of these can be pronounced:

The long vowel sound.

The short vowel sound.

The silent vowel sound.

Let's look at what each of these mean.

The first vowel A has a name, and the sound of the name is called the long vowel sound, such as in words like NAME.

The same vowel A also has a typical sound associated with it, the sound od A as in cAt,

This sound is the short vowel sound for the letter A.

The third case is that in many words, the vowel A can be silent, as in meAt.

The words below give the long and short vowel sounds for the five vowels:

Long vowel sounds are called long because the sound is held for a longer period of time, and is completely different from the short vowel sound. It is not just a longer version of the short vowel sound.

A vowel can either have the long sound or the short sound, but it can also be silent:

meAt, where the A is silent.

Silent vowels do one of two things:

They eother do nothing and just appear in many words,

or they appear and affect how other vowels sound:

cAp uses the short vowel sound for the A

cApE uses the long vowel sound for the A because the E at the end of the word is not only silent, but changes the sound of the A before it.

The rule is:

When a vowel and consonant are followed by an e', the e' is almost always silent, but it causes the preceding vowel to be long.







A vowel at the end of a syllable is almost always long: we,




Many words have two vowels together,



and when that happens, very often the first vowel is long and the second vowel is silent.

Many words have the O vowel, but it sounds like the short U sound:




The O here sounds like the short U sound.

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