Pass Quiz and Get a Badge of Learning

Content "filtered", Please subscribe for FULL access.

Chapter 3 : Syllables

Syllable arrow_upward

  • A syllable is a basic unit of written and spoken language.
    • It is a unit consisting of uninterrupted sound that can be used to make up words.
  • Humans seem to need syllables as a way of segmenting the stream of speech and giving it a rhythm of strong and weak beats, as we hear in music.
  • Syllables exist only to make speech easier for the brain to process.
    • All words are made from at least one syllable.
    • Notice that almost every syllable contains at least one vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or vowel sound and usually have a consonant between it and the next syllable.
  • A word may have one, two, three, four, or more syllables.
    • Jump: One syllable
    • Jumping: Jump-ing  Two syllable
    • Unbearable: Un-bear-able  Three syllables

    Example of Syllables arrow_upward

  • Following list shows a few examples:

  • Word

    No. of Syllables








































    Breaking Word into Parts arrow_upward

  • A key skill that can help spelling is ability to break a word into its corresponding parts.
  • Exothermic
    • Exo: a prefix meaning out, outside
    • -therm: a word root meaning heat
    • –ic: a suffix meaning pertaining to
    • Definition:  pertaining to (sending) heat out
  • Heterogeneous
    • Hetero: A prefix meaning different
    • -gene: A word root meaning kind or type
    • -ous: A suffix meaning pertaining to
    • Definition: A heterogeneous solution is made of different types (of substances)

    Counting Syllables arrow_upward

    To find the number of syllables in a word, use the following steps:

  • Count the vowels in the word.
  • Subtract any silent vowels
    • Like the silent “e” at the end of a word.
    • The second vowel when two vowels are together in a syllable.
  • Subtract one vowel from every diphthong (diphthongs only count as one vowel sound)
    • Technically, a diphthong is a sound that consists of two vowels such as “ou” in out.
  • The number of vowel sounds finally left is the same as the number of syllables.
  • For example:

  • The word came has 2 vowels, but the “e ” is silent, leaving one vowel sound and one syllable.
  • The word outside has 4 vowels, but the “e” is silent and the “ou ” is a diphthong which counts as only one sound, so this word has only two vowel sounds and therefore, two syllables.

  • Six Kinds of Syllables arrow_upward

    There are six different kinds of syllables in English:

  • Closed Syllables: A closed syllable has only one vowel, and it ends in a consonant.
    • Examples include in , ask , truck , sock , stretch , twelfth , and on
  • Open Syllables: An open syllable has only one vowel, and that vowel occurs at the end of the syllable.
    • Examples include no , she , I , a , and spry
  • Silent-E Syllables: A silent-e syllable ends in an e , has only one consonant before that e , and only one vowel before that consonant.
    • Examples include ate , ice , tune , slope , strobe , and these.
  • Vowel Combination Syllables: A vowel combination syllable has a cluster of two or three vowels or a vowel-consonant unit with a sound or sounds particular to that unit.
    • Examples include rain , day , see , veil , pie , piece , noise , toy , cue , and true
  • Vowel-R Syllables: A vowel-r syllable is one which includes:
    • Only one vowel followed by an r , or
    • One vowel followed by an r which is followed by a silent e ; or a vowel combination followed by an r.
    • Examples include car , or , care , ire , air , and deer
  • Consonant-L-E Syllables: In these syllables, a consonant is followed by le .
    • Examples include -ble , -cle , -dle , -fle , and –gle

    Dividing Words into Syllables arrow_upward

    There are four ways to split up a word into its syllables:

  • Divide between two middle consonants
    • Split up words that have two middle consonants.
    • For example:
    • Hap/pen, bas/ket, let/ter, sup/per, din/ner, and Den/nis
  • Usually divide before a single middle consonant
    • When there is only one syllable, you usually divide in front of it, as in:
    • "o/pen", "i/tem", "e/vil", and "re/port"
  • Divide before the consonant that occurs before an "-le" syllable
    • When you have a word that has the old-style spelling in which the "-le" sounds like "-el", divide before the consonant that occurs before the "-le"
    • For example: "a/ble", "fum/ble", "rub/ble" "mum/ble" and "thi/stle"
  • Divide off any compound words, prefixes, suffixes and roots which have vowel sounds
    • Split off the parts of compound words like "sports/car" and "house/boat".
    • Divide off prefixes such as "un/happy", "pre/paid", or "re/write".
    •  Also divide off suffixes as in the words "farm/er", "teach/er", "hope/less" and "care/ful".

    Syllable Stress arrow_upward

  • In a word with two or more syllables,
    • One syllable is stressed (meaning they have a stronger and longer sound).
    • The other syllables are unstressed or weak (meaning they are not said or pronounced as strong or as long as stressed syllables).
  • For Example:
    • Pre-pare
    • Sig-ni-fi-cance
    • Com-pu-ter
    • In-con-spic-u-ous

    Thank You from Kimavi arrow_upward

  • Please email us at and help us improve this tutorial.

  • Mark as Complete => Receive a Certificate in English-Spelling

    Kimavi Logo

    Terms and conditions, privacy and cookie policy

    Kimavi @ YouTube | Email Admin @ Kimavi | Visit TheCodex.Me

    Beautiful Educational Videos for School, College, Languages & Encyclopedia

    Learn Python with 500,000 students

    Created with Love