Syllable Types

Every word is made from syllables. The English language has 6 syllable types: Open, Closed, R-controlled, Vowel Team, Silent-e, and C-le.
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Open Syllable

  • An open syllable has only one vowel.
  • The vowel has a long sound (like the 'i' in line).
  • The vowel is the last letter of the syllable.
  • Open syllables have no more than one consonant between the open syllable and the next vowel.
  • examplesba-by,  fe-male,  i-vy,  fro-zen,  & Cu-pid
  • listen: how to pronounce baby

Closed Syllable

Fun Fact
Only 2 months have 4 syllables:
January and February

R-Controlled Syllable

  • A vowel, diphthong, or triphthong that has an "r" or a "re" ("r" with a silent "e") after it.
  • R-controlled vowels are usually pronounced in a different way because they are "controlled" by the r.
    • er, ur, & ir vowels sound like the er in "her"
    • some ar vowels sound like the ar in "far"
    • other ar vowels sound like the ar in "share"
    • or vowels sound like the or in "for"
Vowel Team Syllable
  • A group of 2 to 4 letters, usually vowels, which make a single vowel sound.
  • If a vowel team is made of 2 vowels, usually only the first vowel is pronounced.
  • A vowel team can create a long or short vowel sound.
  • If a vowel team syllable has a consonant in it, the vowel is usually pronounced differently from normal vowels.
  • Fun fact:  Vowels teams are usually old words whose pronunciation changed over long periods of time. They're only learned through practice and recognition.
Silent-e (VCe) Syllable
  • The silent-e syllable is also called VCe, which stands for Vowel-Consonant-e.
    • It consists of a vowel, followed by a consonant, followed by an "e" that is silent.
  • It's usually the last syllable in a root word.
  • The vowel has a long sound (like the 'i' in line).
  • examples:  take, cake, theme, line, tone, tune, & ex-ile
  • listen: how to pronounce take
C-le Syllable
  • The C-le syllable is also called the Consonant-le.
    • It consists of a consonant followed by an "le."
  • It's usually the last syllable in a root word.
  • Does the word end with 'ckle'?
  • Does the word end with 'le' (not 'ckle')?
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