Y: When is it a vowel?

A vowel is a sound that we can make without closing any part of the mouth or throat. To produce a consonant sound, we have to block the air flow from our mouths. Try saying consonants without closing your mouth!
Good luck!

Sometimes the letter y makes a vowel sound.

Say each group of words aloud and listen to the sound made by the letter y.

Y word consonant sound y word vowel sound y word vowel sound

In these words the letter y makes a consonant sound.

In both these sets the sound of the letter y is a vowel sound.
yellow
yak
yoghurt
yo-yo.
sky
cry
fly
shy
July
twenty
baby
happy
family


Read the following words and decide if the letter y has a vowel sound or a consonant sound.

Select consonant or vowel:

you consonant
vowel
sorry consonant
vowel
dry consonant
vowel
beyond consonant
vowel
silly consonant
vowel
dynamite consonant
vowel

Skip this exercise and go to the next part of this unit: Ways of spelling consonant and vowel sounds. *

* Skip link not available for logged in students.

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