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Long and short vowels

Vowels are pronounced differently depending on the word they are in.

Short vowels

Hello, batter and digger all have short vowel sounds at the beginning.

Long vowels

Here, bathe and dive all have long vowel sounds at the beginning.

Short vowels are snappy while long vowels are drawn out. Say the words out loud for a better understanding.

Double consonants

If a word has a short vowel sound, and has more than one syllable, the vowel is often followed by a double consonant, for example:

  • apple
  • letter
  • winner
  • dolly
  • blurry

Changing vowels by adding e

You can often change a short vowel into a long vowel by adding a modifying (changing) e to the end of the word. This is sometimes called 'magic e'.

Without e
With e
hophope
atate
bathbathe

If a word has a long vowel sound, it probably has an e on the end.

There are some exceptions! Love, were and give all have short vowel sounds even though they have an e on the end.

Scone is an odd word. Some people pronounce it with a long o, and others with a short o.

More from Spelling:

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