Six Ways to Spell the Long A Sound
One of the reasons why English spelling is so difficult to learn is because often the same sound is spelled in a variety of ways. Click here to read about the different ways to spell the long /e/ sound and here to read about the long /o/ sound.
Here are the six ways of spelling the long /a/ sound:
1) Just the Letter A
Some words spell the long /a/ sound with just the letter a.
Here are some example:
2) A – E Words
Sometimes, to spell the long /a/ sound, you use an a in the middle of the word and an e at the end.
Here are some examples of long /a/ words spelled with an a in the middle of the word and an e at the end:
This spelling rule does not always apply to ate words where the a – e falls at the end of the word. For example, private, chocolate, and immediate are all pronounced with a weak /u/ sound.
You can practise spelling a – e words here and here.
3) AI Words
After a – e words, the next most common way of spelling the long /a/ sound is with the letters ai.
Here are some examples of the long/a/ sound spelled with the letters ai:
Many longer words are spelled with ain at the end but are pronounced with a weak /u/ sound. Examples include: Britain, fountain, and villain.
You can practise spelling ai words here and here.
4) AY Words
At the end of a word, the long /a/ sound is spelled with the letters ay.
Here are some examples of long /a/ words spelled with the letter ay:
There are some exceptions to this rule, such as: grey, prey, they, obey, convey, and survey.
You can practise spelling ay words here, here, and here.
5) EI Words
A few words spell the long /a/ sound with the letters ei.
Here are some examples:
You can practise spelling ei words here.
6) EA Words
In three words, the long /a/ sound is spelled with the letters ea:
These three words are also homophones of a – e words (brake, grate, and stake).
If you’d like to learn more about spelling long /a/ sounds, have a look at Unit 7 on our online spelling course. Subscribe to Spellzone for extra tips and plenty of practice.
Have a good week!
21 Nov 2016
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