It’s a Fact — Consonants

Today, I want to give you a few facts about consonants.

  • 21 Consonants are: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
  • Consonants never say their name (except in words like x-ray).
  • Most consonants have one sound.
  • Five consonants have more than one sound: c, g, s, x, n
  • The letter r does not say “er.” It sounds more like a barking dog – “rhhh.”
  • The letter q is ALWAYS followed by a u in English words. They make the sound “kw” as in queen.
  • The letter x makes three sounds:
    “ks” as in Box
    “gz” as in Exit
    “z” as in Xylophone
  • No English words end in the letters v or j.
  • V is always followed by e. For example: active, believe
  • -ge and -dge are used for “j” at the end of a word. For example: ridge, engage
  • Consonant blends are two or three consonants which blend together: shrill, fast, lamp
  • Digraphs are two consonants representing as single sound: shout, thimble, chest

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(12) Comments

  1. In B C Canada, we don’t say egzit for exit. The ex are pronoun we /ex/. I guess we have Canadian accents after all .

  2. Hi,

    Do you mind if I share this on my Facebook page, with credit to you. I am certified in O-G and will be looking to remediate clients. I have a Facebook page under DARTS Dyslexia.

    Kind Regards Leanda Gejas

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. I think “gz” for exit is regional dialect. We don’t say exit that way. We clearly say /ex/ in exit here in the Ohio.

    1. I don’t really have more information, but you can think of words that contain s as /z/ sound and begin to commit those to memory over time. One note is in the FLOSS rule — final s that says /z/ never doubles (they have a short vowel with l, f, s, but they are exceptions) — words like as, is, has, was, his. Then you have words like rose, accuse, miserable, miser. There’s really no “rule” for the s saying /z/, but being aware that it does happen is part of getting used to all of the sounds letters can say and eventually they are easier to remember.

    1. Hi Linda, n also says “ng” — examples are think or sing (it’s a nasal sound more than a clipped like the words nose or thin)

  4. Thank you for clarifying the ‘r’ sound. I was taught that ‘r’ says /rhhh/ as a growl as well but I am learning that other reading specialists are teaching that it says /er/. Is the /er/ sound a new to teach the sound of letter ‘r’?

    1. Hi Angie, I’m not sure about the growling sound. In the teaching I received we were taught to clip pronunciation of sounds – as in the letter M, you wouldn’t say “Muh” as a lot of people do, It’s “M.” And R would be “R” as in ring.
      You also have different sounds of R in R-controlled syllables. Here’s what I have for R-controlled pronunciation:

      AR in a one syllable work (or in the beginning or middle of a word) says “ar (with the two dots above it)” as in arm.
      AR at the end of a longer word says “ur” as in dollar.
      ER in all positions of the word says “ur” as in fern.
      OR in a one syllable word (or beginning or middle) says “or” as in fork.
      OR at the end of a longer word says “ur” as in doctor.
      IR in one syllable word (or beginning or middle) says “ur” as in bird.
      UR in one syllable word (or beginning or middle) says “ur” as in turtle.

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