Phonics Rules

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What is Phonics?

Phonics refers to associating letters or letter groups with the sounds they represent. Mastery of phonics is an important tool for reading and pronouncing words.

What Phonics Rules Should I Know?

Because the English language is so complex, there are many phonics rules. Knowing the phonics rules that apply most often can be a major aid to identifying words and improving comprehension in your reading. But keep in mind there are some words that don't follow the rules. You will just have to watch out for these exceptions.

Here are the most useful phonics rules you should know:

  1. Every syllable in every word must contain a vowel. The vowels are: a, e, i, o, u, and y (although y is a consonant when at the beginning of a word).
  2. When "c" is followed by "e, i, or y," it usually has the soft sound of "s." Example: city.
  3. When "g" is followed by "e, i, or y," it usually has the soft sound of "j." Example: gem.
  4. A consonant digraph is two or more consonants that are grouped together and represent a single sound. Here are some consonant digraphs you should know: wh (what), sh (shout), wr (write), kn (know), th (that), ch (child), ph (graph), tch (watch), gh (laugh), ng (ring).
  5. When a syllable ends in a consonant and has only one vowel, that vowel is short. Examples: tap, bed, wish, lock, bug.
  6. When a syllable ends in a silent "e," the vowel that comes before the silent "e" is long. Examples: take, gene, bite, hope, fuse.
  7. When a syllable has two vowels together, the first vowel is usually long and the second vowel is silent. Example: stain.
  8. When a syllable ends in a vowel and is the only vowel, that vowel is usually long. Examples: ba/ker, be/come, bi/sect, go/ing, fu/ture, my/self.
  9. When a vowel is followed by "r" in the same syllable, the vowel is neither long nor short. Examples: charm, term, shirt, corn, surf.

Knowing and Applying These Phonics Rules Will Improve Your Reading.

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