Syllables: vowel and consonant patterns


The normal rule is: Every syllable must have a vowel.

Sometimes the vowel sound is spelled with just one letter:

dentist lazy upon volcano America

Sometimes the vowel sound is spelled with more than one letter:

teaching lightest statue swallow cloakroom

Rule Breakers - these words break spelling rules There are a few words which break this rule.
For example:

Sometimes the letter m on the end of a word forms a syllable on its own:
rhythm Most rock music has strong rhythm.
chasm A chasm is a wide gap.
spasm A spasm is a sudden, uncontrolled movement.

These words all have the suffix -ism which has two syllables. It can mean an action, a system, a principle, a medical condition:
ageism Ageism: bias against older people.
alcoholism Alcoholism: an addiction to alcohol
Buddhism Buddhism: the beliefs of Buddhists

Time for some trivia - if it helps you win a huge prize in a quiz show, let me know!

(Click the question mark above for the answers.)

1. What is the shortest two-syllable English word?

2. What is the longest one-syllable English word?

3. What is the shortest word containing all 5 vowels?

4. Name a word containing all vowels in alphabetical order.



This completes Unit 8, Syllables and Vowel Patterns.

next part of the spelling course Go to the next Unit:
Adding suffixes - when do words change?


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Unit 8: Syllables: vowel and consonant patterns

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