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Word Wizard: Exploring Long and Short Vowels

Grade 3
Jul 27, 2023

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. Vowels and consonants are the two types of letters.

A, e, i, o, u are vowels and the rest are consonants.

Vowels can be short or long.

Short Vowels

Short vowels are vowels pronounced in a short form.

For example: Vowel sounds in bat, pet, hit, and pot, but are short vowel sounds.   



  • A vowel is pronounced as a short vowel if the word has only one vowel and that vowel appears in the middle of the word. This is true in short words or one-syllable words (A syllable is a part of the word that has a single vowel sound and is pronounced as a unit).

For example mat, set, bit, rub, hot

  • The first rule is also applicable to bigger words with a single syllable.

For example, sand, slept, ship, shop, shut

  • If a short word with one vowel ends in s, l, or f, the consonant at the end gets doubled.

For example sell, miss, cuff

  • If there are two vowels in a word and a double consonant follows the first vowel, then the vowel’s sound will be short.

For example batter, glitter, bottle, juggle

  • If there are two vowels in a word and they are separated by two or more letters, then the first vowel is usually a short one.

For example packets, lantern


Long Vowels

Long vowel sounds are the same as the names of the vowels themselves.

For example: Long A is AY as in bake.

                        Long E is EE as in sheet.

                        Long I is AHY as in like.

                        Long O is OH as in tone.

                        Long U is YOO as in cute or OO as in crude.


For example pain, meat, boat, lie

For example: meet, keep

  • In a one-syllable word, if the vowel “i” is followed by two consonants then the vowel makes a long sound.

For example Mind, flight

  • This rule is not applicable when “i” is followed by sh, the, or ch.

For example: with, fish, rich

  • When a vowel is followed by a consonant and a silent “e” in a syllable, a long vowel sound is created.

For example, size, rode, stripe

  • The long “u” sound can be pronounced as you or oo.

For example fume, flute

  • When the vowel “o” appears in a one-syllable word and is followed by two consonants, then a long vowel sound is created.

For example: post, fold

  • There is an exception when “o” appears in a one-syllable word that ends in sh or th.

For example moth, posh

long and short vowels


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