Ways of spelling consonant and vowel sounds

Spelling most consonant sounds is usually fairly simple. For example, if you hear the sound /b/ you know to use the letter b - big, crab, banana

However, there are a few which need a closer look. For example:

the /s/ sound is sometimes spelled with the letter c, as in circle

the /j/ sound is sometimes spelled with the letter g, as in bridge

the /f/ sound is sometimes spelled with the letters ph, as in phantom

sound /s/ spelt with letter c g consonant sound /f/ spelt with letters ph
circle bridge phantom

These and other tricky consonant spellings are covered later in the course.

More spelling mistakes are made with vowels than consonants. This is because:

  • each vowel can be used to spell more than one sound
    e.g. dog, gold
  • there are often several ways to spell the same vowel sound
    e.g. road, arrow, bone
  • two vowels can combine to form yet more sounds
    e.g. down, boy, house
Go to next page: Spelling vowel sounds - the difference between long and short vowels.

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Unit 1: The basic 'Building Bricks' of the English language

Page 6 of 16

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