blog home

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:

  • acorn
  • apron
  • alien
  • agent
  • basic
  • basin
  • data
  • fatal

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:

  • snake
  • game
  • elate
  • shave
  • grade
  • sale
  • amaze
  • grape

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:

  • train
  • snail
  • wait
  • paint
  • compain
  • entail
  • aim
  • waist

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:

  • Sunday
  • play
  • always
  • betray
  • essay
  • display
  • delay
  • fray

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:

  • reins
  • veil -
  • weight
  • neigh
  • vein -
  • sheikh
  • eight
  • freight

You can practise spelling ei words here.

6) EA Words

In three words, the long /a/ sound is spelled with the letters ea:

  • break
  • great
  • steak

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
blog home

Comments


Add a comment

If you are subscribed to Spellzone please login to comment.

Print this page
share this page:

Sign up to remove this advert

Remove this advert

"Fantastic - the most relevant material/resource ever seen for both dyslexia and teaching spelling rules."
College Lecturer

Help...


If you need help logging into your account, or you need more information, we are here to help.

Help