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Letter Sound Combinations

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Here you will find various charts explaining how to say various vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u, & y) when combined with other vowels or consonants. Vowel combinations in English can be confusing at times, especially when a specific combination can be spoken multiple ways. These charts were created to help familiarize students with these various combination in hopes to increase pronunciation and fluency. These charts are separated by the vowel involved (Charts: a, e, i, o, u, & y), each of which are divided into four separate columns (from left to right):

  1. Vowel Combinations: This column has a vowel combination with another letter that together make a specific sound as part of one or more words. Each chart is separated into categories by vowels involved (Charts: a, e, i, o, u, & y).
  2. Listening Example: Clicking the icon in this column will open another tab, this tab will give you an audio sample of the vowel combination next to it.
  3. Phonetic Sounds: This column gives the closest example to how to phonetically read each combination, some Japanese samples are provided. However, if you want the most fluent example, please use the Listening Example.
  4. Word Examples: The last column gives one or more examples of words that use the vowel combination found in this row.

"A" Vowel Combinations

Listening Example

Phonetic Sound

Word Examples

"ai"

long a sound

(/eɪ/)

(/エイー/)

aim, brain, braid, chain, drain, grain, hail, mail, nail, paint, plain, rain, sail, snail, trail

"ay"

long a sound

(/eɪ/)

(/エイー/)

clay, day, hay, pay, play, ray, say, spray, stay, tray

"au"

short a sound

(/ɑ/)

(/ア/)

audio, August, author, fault, gauze, haul, launch, pause, sauce

"aw"

short a sound

(/ɑ/)

(/ア/)

awesome, awful, claw, crawl, dawn, draw, fawn, hawk, jaw, paw, saw, straw, yawn

"augh"

short a sound

(/ɑ/)

(/ア/)

caught, daughter, haughty, naughty, slaughter, taught

"alk"

short a sound

(/ɑ+k/)

(/ア+k/)

chalk, stalk, talk, walk

"all"

short a sound

(/ɑ+l/)

(/ア+l/)

ball, hall, mall, small, tall, wall

"ald"

short a sound

(/ɑ+ld/)

(/ア+ld/)

alder, bald, scald

"alt"

short a sound

(/ɑ+lt/)

(/ア+lt/)

alter, cobalt, halt, malt, salt

"alm"

short a sound

(/ɑ+m/)

(/ア+m/)

alms, balm, calm, palm

"wa"

short a sound

(/w+ɑ/)

(/ワ/)

swamp, want, wash

"ua"

short a sound

(/w+ɑ/)

(/ウア/)

squash, squat

"wa"

short a sound

(/w+æ/)

(/ワ/)

swam, wag, wand, wax

"ua"

short a sound

(/w+æ/)

(/ウア/)

aqua, dual, quack, quad

"E" Vowel Combinations

Listening Example

Phonetic Sound

Word Examples

"ee"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/)

bee, cheese, feet, greet, meet, need, peek, peel, queen, reef, see, sleep, street, week

"ea"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/])

beach, each, ear, ease, eat, heat, leaf, leave, mean, peach, please, sea, seal, seat, team, year

"ea"

short e sound

(/ɛ/)

(/エ/)

bread, dead, head, health, meant, spread

"ea"

long a sound

(/eɪ/)

(/エイー/)

break, great, steak

"ei"

long i sound

(diphthong /aɪ/)

(/アーエ/)

heist

"ey"

long i sound (diphthong /aɪ/)

(/アーイ/)

eye, geyser

"eigh"

long i sound (diphthong /aɪ/)

(/アーエ/)

height

"ei"

long a sound (/eɪ/)

(/エーイ/)

beige, veil

"ey"

long a sound

(/eɪ/)

(/エーイ/)

grey, prey, they, whey

"eigh"

long a sound

(/eɪ/)

(/エーイ/)

eight, weigh, weight

"ei"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/)

receipt, seize

"ey"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/)

donkey, hockey, honey, key, kidney, money, valley

"eo"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/)

people

"eu"

complex oo sound

(/u/)

(/ウー/)

deuce, sleuth

"ew"

complex oo sound

(/u/)

(/ウー/)

chew, dew, few, new, stew

"i" Vowel Combinations

Listening Example

Phonetic Sound

Word Examples

"ie"

long i

(diphthong sound /aɪ/)

(/アーイ/)

die, fried, pie, tie

"igh"

long i

(diphthong sound /aɪ/)

(/アーイ/)

flight, high, night, thigh, wright

"ign"

long i

(diphthong sound /aɪ+n/)

(/アーイン/)

align, assign, benign, sign

"ind"

long i

(diphthong sound /aɪ+nd/)

(/アーインd/)

behind, bind, grind, kind, mind

"i"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/)

ski

"ie"

long e sound

(/i/)

(/イー/)

brief, field, grieve, piece

"O" Vowel Combinations

Listening Example

Phonetic Sound

Word Examples

"oll"

short o sound

(/ɑ+ll/)

(/ア+ll/)

doll, loll

"ost"

short o sound

(/ɑ+st/)

(/ア+st/)

cost, frost, lost

"ou"

complex aw

(diphthong sound /aʊ/)

(/アウ/)

bounce, ounce, out, round

"ow"

complex aw

(diphthong sound /aʊ/)

(/アウ/)

browse, down, how

"oa"

long o sound

(/oʊ/)

(/オー/)

groan, loam, loathe, loaves, oat

"oe"

long o sound

(/oʊ/)

(/オー/)

doe, hoe

"ow"

long o sound

(/oʊ/)

(/オー/)

glow, owe, own, snow

"oul"

long o sound

(/oʊ+l/)

(/オー+l/)

poultry, soul

"old"

long o sound

(/oʊ+ld/)

(/オー+ld/)

fold, gold, scold

"olk"

long o sound

(/oʊ+k/)

(/オー+k/)

folk, yolk

"oll"

long o sound

(/oʊ+ll/)

(/オー+ll/)

atoll, knoll, roll, scroll

"olt"

long o sound

(/oʊ+lt/)

(/オー+lt/)

bolt, volt

"ost"

long o sound

(/oʊ+st/)

(/オー+st/)

ghost, host, most, post

"oi"

complex oi

(diphthong sound /oɪ/)

(/オイ/)

coin, oil, voice

"oy"

complex oi

(diphthong sound /oɪ/)

(/オイ/)

boy, ploy

"oo"

complex oo sound

(/u/)

([/ウ/)

boo, food, moose, smooth

"ou"

complex oo sound

(/u/)

(/ウ/)

group, rouge, soup, you

"oo"

complex oo sound

(/ʊ/)

(/ウ/)

book, good, look, stood

"U" Vowel Combinations

Listening Example

Phonetic Sound

Word Examples

"ue"

complex oo sound

(/u/)

(/ウ/)

blue, clue, due, flue, glue, rue, sue, true

"ui"

complex oo sound

(/u/)

(/ウ/)

cruise, fruit, juice, sluice, suit

"ue"

long u sound

(/u/)

(/ウ/)

cue, hue

"Y" Vowel Combinations

Listening Example

Phonetic Sound

Word Examples

"cy"

 long e sound

(/s+i/)

(/s+イー/)

agency, efficiency, fluency

"ity"

 long e sound

(/ət+i/)

(/ət+イー/)

ability, quality, reality

"logy"

 long e sound

(/ləʤ+i/)

(/ləʤ+イー/)

apology, mythology, trilogy

"graphy"

 long e sound

(/grəf+i)

(/grəf+イー/)

choreography, photography, topography

"fy"

long i sound

(/f+aɪ/)

(/f+アーイ/)

defy, glorify, notify

"ky"

long i sound

(/k+aɪ/)

(/かーイ/)

sky

"ye"

long i sound

(/aɪ/)

(/アーイ/)

dye, rye