Consonants are sometimes more difficult to pronounce than vowels, and if a word contains too many consonants, or consonants that don't go together very easily, such words can be difficult to pronounce.
A word like LAUGH or THOUGHT can look a bit difficult, and we will be looking at these groupings in this section.
In many words, Consonants and vowels form fixed groups which have a different sound from the letters they contain:
In the word STATION, the group TION sounds like shun, and the group TI can sound like SH in STATION or CH as in QUESTION.
Sometimes vowels are used to control the sound a consonant makes, as in the case of soft and hard C's and G's
The C in CINEMA is soft, but the C in BISCUIT is hard because the C is followed by a U.
The same thing happens with G.
The G in GERRY is soft, but the G in GUITAR is hard because it is followed by a U, which changes the G to a hard G.
The sound for K can be made by other consonant groups:
The CH in CHRISTMAS sounds like a K, and at the end of many words, the K sound is made by CK as in BLACK.