Syllables: vowel and consonant patterns


The usual rule is simple: every syllable contains a vowel.

Sometimes, that vowel sound is spelled with just one letter:

dentist lazy upon volcano America

Sometimes, it is spelled with more than one letter:

teaching lightest statue swallow cloakroom

Rule Breakers - these words break spelling rules

Now, you know what’s coming next!

A few words break the rule and the syllables are created by consonants.
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.
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Unit 8: Syllables: vowel and consonant patterns

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