So we’ve now gone through all of the syllable types except one in the REVLOC system of syllable division. We have covered C, E, O, R, and L. The final type of syllable is Vowel Teams – the V. These vowel teams are vowel sounds (it’s the sound, not just the letters) formed by two or more letters (notice it is letters, not vowels) within the same syllable.
In dividing a word, a Vowel Team syllable will look like this:
Conceit con (closed or C) ceit (vowel team or V)
As a side note: is this a vowel team? The word: Quit? NO! It is not. It is a closed syllable. QU is considered a consonant and always appears together in English. Why is this important? For pronunciation. This makes the “i” in Quit stay short as it would in most closed syllables.
Vocabulary. Vowel teams are made up of Diphthongs and Vowel Digraphs. A Diphthong will be two vowels that start out saying one sound, but blended end up as another. Vowel Digraphs are two vowels that make one new sound.
◊ Diphthongs are two vowels making two separate sounds, but blended together make a new sound. Examples oi saying “oi” as in oil or ou saying “ou” as in out.
◊ Digraphs are two consonants together making one new sound, as in sh, or two vowels together making one new sound, as in ai saying /ā/ or oe saying /ō/.
Below are the vowel teams, what sound they make and example words. So here goes:
ai says ā (long a) as in Train. It usually occurs at the beginning or middle of words.
Examples: ail, mail, main, hair, quail, chair, stair, frail, air, strain, Spain, faith, waif, snail, drain
ay says ā (long a) as in Tray. It comes at the end of words.
Examples: bay, say, spray, pay, stay, haystack, away, sway
oa says ō (long o) as in boat. It comes at the beginning and middle of words.
Examples: oat, coat, coach, throat, loan, goal, toast
oe says ō (long o) as in toe. There are very few words and it is usually at the end of words.
Examples: toe, doe, foe, hoe, Joe, roe, woe, Moe
ee says ē (long e) as in bee.
Examples: deed, seem, speed, knee, fee, screech, fifteen, sleet, indeed, greed
oi says “oi” as in oil.
Examples: point, avoid, thyroid, devoid, rejoice, loiter, typhoid, poison, coil
oy says “oi” as in boy. It is usually at the end of a word, with a few exceptions.
Examples: joy, employ, soy, alloy destroy, deploy, viceroy.
Exceptions from the end of word sentence: The loyal, royal, oyster took a voyage. These “oy” words are in the middle of the words.
oo commonly says “oo” as in food.
Examples: too, zoo, moon, boost, shampoo, proof, zoom, hoop, tattoo
oo also says “oo” in a few words, as in foot.
Examples: book, brook, cook, hook, wood, shook, hood, good, nook, hook, wool, soot, stood, look, took, nook, crook
ow says “ou” as in cow.
Examples: flower, shower, dowel, clown, tower, chowder, sow, endowment, plow, drown, brown, gown
ow also says “ō” (long o) as in snow.
Examples: blow, flown, thrown, elbow, owner, willow, sloe, owe, flow, growth, rainbow
ie says “ē” (long e) as in thief. It is usually in the middle.
Examples: belief, priest, siege, brief, field, pier, yield, shriek, fierce, achieve
ie also says “ī” (long i) as in pie. Usually at the end of words and there are very few.
Examples: pie, die, lie, tie, fie, vie, belie, underlie
ou says “ou” as in house.
Examples: about, amount, loud, foul, voucher, shroud, stout, proud, tout, thou, count, noun, gout, our
ou also says “oo” as in soup. These are French words that have made it into the English language.
Examples: croup, group, route, wound, you, youth, youthful, coupon, cougar, lou, Louis
ou also says “ŭ” (short u) as in double. This is rare.
Examples: trouble, couple, country, touch, young
au says “ô” as in auto. It comes at the beginning or the middle of words.
Examples: fault, launch, vault, gaudy, fraud, Paul, saunter, taut, sausage, daunt, saucer, laundry, jaunt
aw also says “ô” as in saw. It usually comes at the end of words.
Examples: claw, saw, draw, straw, flow, thaw, jaw, squaw, law, paw, raw, slaw
RULE: if a L, N, or K follow the “o” sound, use AW at the end. Examples: hawk, lawn, dawn, yawn, and scrawl. In other words, if you hear this sound “ô,” and it’s at the end, always use the AW, not AU, as AU will not appear at the end of a word, only beginning and middle.
ea says “ē” (long e) as in eagle.
Examples: beach, bead, leave, treat, speak, tea, wheat, teacher, squeak, teach, steal, real, leap, heat, ease
ea also says “ĕ” (short e) as in Bread.
Examples: dread, sweat, instead, heavy, jealous, thread, lead (the medal), threat, heaven, pleasant, already, wealth, death, deaf, heading
ea also says “ā” (long a) as in steak. This is rare.
Examples: steak, break
NOTE: A sentence to help remember the sounds of EA is The eagle ate bread and steak.
ey says “ē” (long e) as in monkey. It is at the end of words.
Examples: barley, jockey, valley, money, dickey, New Jersey, chimney, key, volley, journey, pulley, turkey
ey also says “ā” (long a). It is rare.
Examples: they, convey, disobey, obey, hey, prey, survey, whey
igh says “ī” (long i) as in light. In the base word (if in a compound word), it is either at the end or followed by the letter t.
Examples: blight, high, sight, frighten, flashlight, lighthouse, highway, highness, moonlight, sigh, fright, insight
eigh says “ā” (long a) as in eight. In the base word (if in a compound word) it is either at the end or followed by the letter t.
Examples: weight, sleigh, neighbor, neigh, eight, eighty, weigh, freight, eighteen, neighborhood, eighty-eight.
ue makes the two long sounds of u: “oo” and “yoo.” As in, A true rescue. UE will come at the end of the word.
ue says “oo” as in true.
Examples: due, rue, avenue, sue, subdue, blue, glue, misconstrue, pursue
ue also says “yoo” as in rescue.
Examples: hue, statue, cue, argue, virtue, tissue, issue, continue
ew says both “oo” and “yoo”. As in, He grew a few inches. EW will come at the end of words.
ew says “oo” as in grew.
Examples: blew, chew, pew, mildew, jewel, new, grew, threw
ew says “yoo” as in few.
Examples: pew, few, pewter, nephew
ui says “oo” as in fruit. There are very few common words with this vowel team.
Examples: suitor, juice, nuisance, bruise, pursuit, cruise, recruit, suit, sluice
eu says both “oo” and “yoo” as in eucalyptus and Zeus. These are Greek in origin and not common.
eu says “oo” as in Zeus.
Examples: neuter, neutral, neuron, neural, neuritis, sleuth, deuce
eu also says “yoo” as in feud
Examples: feudal, Europe, eucalyptus, euphemism, Eugene, euphoria
ei says “ē” (long e) and comes after the letter c.
Examples: ceiling, conceive, conceit, deceive, receive, deceit, receipt, perceive
ei also says “ā” (long a) as in veil.
Examples: vein, rein, skein reindeer, heir, surveillance
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