Long and short consonant sounds chart

Consonant Charts | FREE Pronunciation E-Course

Consonant Charts: the 3 in 1 Deal

Remember how useful the vowel chart was in making sense of the vowel sounds of your target language?  Well you’ll be happy to know that consonant charts can be just as helpful (yay for charts!)

A consonant chart lists all of the consonant sounds for a given language while neatly organizing them by place of articulation, manner of articulation and phonation.

Below you will find a consonant chart of English containing all of the phonemes we discussed.  While reviewing the IPA symbols, take note of the following:

  • The columns are labeled by place or articulation.
  • The rows are labeled by manner of articulation.  
  • When two consonants are next to each other in the same cell (i.e. they share the same place and manner of articulation), the consonant on the left is voiceless and the consonant on the right is voiced.  

Modification of consonant chart on Wikipedia Article for “English Phonology”

Sometimes it can be confusing calling a consonant sound by its symbol, especially for sounds like /ʃ/, whose name nobody remembers.  So the best way to call a consonant is to list its three features.

The convention for naming a consonant sound is as follows:

[phonation] [place of articulation] [manner of articulation]

So for example:

  • The /f/ sound is called – voiceless labiodental fricative.  
  • The /ʒ/ sound (from vision) is called – voiced post-alveolar fricative
  • The /p/ sound is called –  voiceless bilabial stop

See? These big phonetic terms aren’t so scary once you break them down.  The IPA symbols are pretty simple to learn too once you isolate the ones that are different from English writing:

  • /θ/ – voiceless dental fricative – “th” sound from “theater” and “thick”
  • /ð/ – voiced dental fricative – “th” sound from “then” and “rather”
  • /ʃ/ – voiceless post-alveolar fricative – “sh” sound from “ship” and “ash”
  • /ʒ/ – voiced post-alveolar fricative – “s” sound from “measure” and “vision”
  • /tʃ/ – voiceless post-alveolar affricate – “ch” sound from “child” and “pouch”
  • /dʒ/ – voiced post-alveolar affricate – “j” sound from “john” and “g” sound from “vintage”
  • /ŋ/ – velar nasal (voiced is redundant because all nasal sounds are voiced, otherwise you’re just blowing snot-rockets out your nose).  – “n” sound from “going” and “flunk”.
  • /?/ – glottal stop – dropped consonant sound from phrases like “wha(t) time is it”

Also, there are a few other discrepancies between IPA and English writing that may trip you up.  I list them below:

  • The /j/ (voiced palatal approximant) is usually represented in English with the letter “y” in words such as “young” and “yard”.  It is NOT sound that ‘j’ usually represents in English writing (the ‘j’ in “job” is actually a /dʒ/)
  • The English letter ‘g’ is sometimes used to represent the /dʒ/ sound too, as is the case with words like “gin” and “genuine”.  Just remember that that IPA symbol /g/ ALWAYS represents the voiced velar stop from words like “guy” and “guilt”.  
  • The letter ‘c’ in English can be either /k/ sound as it is in “cat” and “car” or an /s/ sound as it is in “cycle and “cinder” 
  • The letter ‘s’ in English is often used to represent the /z/ sound and NOT the /s/, as is the case in words like “prison” and “chasm”

Remember when I told you how the English writing thing messes everything up?  Don’t let it mess up your understanding of the true nature of sound.  Trust in the IPA and the basic principles of naming consonants and you won’t get confused when studying new languages.

Wrap-Up Exercise

For today’s wrap-up exercise, name each of the consonants below and list one word (from any language) that contains this sound (try not to scroll up and cheat).

  1. /s/
  2. /tʃ/
  3. /n/
  4. /ʃ/
  5. /g/

Stay tuned for the next lesson, where we get more in depth on my method of how to build up these sounds with Flow Training.

Long & Short Vowel Sounds - Plus 2 Free Anchor Charts!

Alphabet | Grade 1 | Kindergarten | Pre-K | Vowels


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Learn the difference between short and long vowels, when to teach these sounds, and the rules for these sounds. For extra classrooom help, print the two free vowel anchor charts, with capital and lowercase letters and bright pictures to teach the long and short vowel sounds!

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Table of Contents

  • Teaching Long & Short Vowels
  • Short Vowel Sounds
  • Long Vowel Sounds
  • Printable Anchor Charts
  • Related Posts
  • Download & Print

Teaching Long & Short Vowels

Of the 26 letters in the English alphabet, the letters a, e, i, o, and u are vowels. The other 21 letters are consonants.

Every English word MUST include at least one vowel. That’s why knowing and practicing vowel sounds is so important when it comes to reading!

Children need to be introduced to these academic terms as early as pre-k, and they should leave kindergarten able to quickly and easily identify vowels and consonants in words.

This will be key as they begin progressing and coding words throughout elementary school!

Short Vowel Sounds

Short vowels are taught along with other letter sounds. Begin teaching short vowel sounds in pre-k and continue teaching them throughout all of kindergarten and the beginning of first grade.

👉 Rule: When there is one vowel in a word, either at the beginning or between two consonants, it usually has a short vowel sound.


  • Short A words: cat, map, hat, an, flag, bam, rat, fad, had, wag, jab, pan, chap, ram.
  • Short E words: leg, leg, pet, slef, hen, men, Zed, net, web, wed, west, hem, fed.
  • Short I words: is, in, lip, rim, lip, slid, pin, lick, lob, fin, thin, Tim, pin, fig, fit, hip, hit, whip.
  • Short O words: on, not, log, off, blog, mop, Tom, nod, slop, fox, fog, flop, hog, hop frog.
  • Short U words: up, ugly, mug, mud, lug, slum, fun, slug, rug, pup, slub, hug, hum, jug, jot.

Long Vowel Sounds

Long vowels are usually taught after the first few months of first grade.

Students should have a firm command reading words with short vowels, digraphs, consonant blends, and closed syllables before long vowels are introduced. They’ll continue learning long vowel spellings throughout the next few years of elementary school.

👉 Rule: Long vowels say their name.

  • Long A says /ā/.
  • Long E says /ē/.
  • Long I says /ī/.
  • Long O says /ō/.
  • Long U says /ū/.

Long vowel sounds can be heard at the beginning, middle, or end of a word. Long vowels can be spelled with a silent e (VCe pattern), a vowel team, or in an open syllable.

👉 Although there are many different long vowel spellings, I focus heavily on the ones we find most frequently in text, marked with an asterisk (*) below!

Long A

There are 8 ways to spell Long A:

  • a like baby*
  • a-e like cake*
  • ai like rain*
  • ay like day*
  • ei like reindeer
  • eigh like eight
  • ea like steak
  • ey like hey

Long E

There are 8 ways to spell Long E:

  • e like equal*
  • e-e like scere*
  • ee like bee*
  • ea like read*
  • y like baby*
  • ei like reiceipt
  • ie like cookie
  • ey like turkey

Long I

There are 6 ways to spell Long I:

  • i like lion*
  • i-e like bike*
  • igh like light*
  • y like fly*
  • y-e like type
  • ie like pie

Long O

There are 5 ways to spell long O:

  • o like no*
  • o-e like home*
  • oa like boat*
  • ow like bow*
  • oe like toe

Long U

Long u can actually make TWO sounds: ū (yoo) and ū (oo).

There are 5 ways to spell Long ū (yoo):

  • u like unicorn*
  • u-e like mute*
  • ue like argue*
  • ew like curfew*
  • eu like eucalyptus

There are 7 ways to spell Long ū (oo):

  • u like ruler*
  • u-e like tube*
  • ue like glue*
  • ew like stew*
  • oo like balloon
  • ou like soup
  • ui like fruit

👉 Tip: Do not teach all of the spellings above at one time. Instead, follow a systematic approach for teaching all of the spellings listed above. Work on one spelling pattern at a time until students have mastered it, then move on.

If you don’t know where to start, the Recipe for Reading book helps parents and teachers practically implement Orton Gillingham methodology with students.

Printable Anchor Charts

To help teach these concepts to kids, print both of the two free posters that can be used as anchor charts. One is focused on short vowel sounds and the other is focused on long vowel sounds.

The posters are designed to help promote both uppercase and lowercase recognition for each of the five vowels.

Each poster includes a bright picture that matches the keyword and includes the vowel sound.

Both posters use words where the vowel sounds are found at the beginning, allowing kids to hear and identify beginning sounds in words.

The Short Vowel Poster includes:

  • A a – /ă/ – apple
  • E e – /ĕ/ – elephant
  • I i – /ĭ/ – igloo
  • O o – /ŏ/ – octopus
  • U u – /ŭ/ – umbrella

The Long Vowel Poster includes:

  • A a – /ā/ – acorn
  • E e – /ē / – equal
  • I i – /ī/ – ice
  • O o – /ō/ – ocean
  • U u – /ū/ – unicorn and /oo/ like ruler.

Related Posts

  • Beginning Sounds Worksheet
  • CVC Word Families Anchor Chart
  • All About Open and Closed Syllables
  • Long Vowel Word Lists: A, E, I, O, and U.

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Long and short vowels in English

Longitude is one of the characteristics of a vowel sound, which shows the relative duration of its sound compared to other sounds.

Longitude can be positional and phonemic. In the first case, the duration of the vowel depends on the position in the word and stress, while this characteristic does not affect the meaning. The phonemic length of a vowel has a semantic function, that is, depending on the length of the sound, the meaning of the word changes. nine0003

Length of vowel sounds in English

In Russian, the length of vowel sounds does not affect the meaning of words and changes only depending on stress. In English, vowels differ not only in positional but also in phonemic length. This means that long and short sounds, similar in other characteristics, represent different phonemes. Words that differ only in these phonemes have different meanings: ship - sheep , fit - feet , pull - pool . Therefore, it is so important to pronounce long and short sounds correctly.

In transcription, long vowels are indicated with a colon: [i:], [α:], [ɔ:], [u:], [ә:]. In some cases, long vowels in an unstressed position are reduced and become semi-long, which in transcription is indicated by one dot from above: [α ].

The long vowels listed above are opposed to short vowels, forming the following pairs in English:

  • [i:] - [ı]
  • [uː] - [u]
  • [ɔ:] - [ɒ]
  • [α:] - [ʌ]
  • [ә:] - [ə]

The pronunciation of long and short English vowels often causes difficulties for Russian learners of English, since in Russian vowels do not have phonemic longitude, and we are not used to distinguishing the length of a vowel sound by ear. We often do not hear the difference between long and short vowels when listening to English speech. It is still not clear how long you need to draw a sound when speaking, so very unnatural, or almost inaudible, or too long vowels are obtained. It is impossible to correctly pronounce short and long sounds so that a native speaker hears the difference, even if you diligently shorten short vowels and stretch out long ones. nine0003

Sometimes it seems that native speakers themselves do not know the difference between short and long sounds, they seem to pronounce them the same way - but they themselves understand each other. But it's not. Let's see what are the differences between long and short English vowels, how to learn to hear them and how to train their pronunciation.

Differences between long and short English sounds

It is logical to assume that if vowels are called long or short, they differ in sound length. This is the main difference between them, but not the only one. It is important to understand that long and short sounds have other differences, which consist in articulatory features. This means that the sounds are not just of different lengths, they are also different in sound. And most often it is these articulatory features that determine the length of the vowel sound: the duration of the sound depends on the position of the tongue and the tension of the vocal apparatus. nine0003

Long and short English vowels differ in such a characteristic as tension. Long vowels are tense, in English they are also called tense . When they are pronounced, the root of the tongue seems to be tense, under tension. The sound is pronounced, bright, rich, clear.

Short vowels are called lax – relaxed. The tongue in the region of the root is relaxed, the vowel sound is articulated quickly, easily, without additional effort, as if bursting. It turns out short, inconspicuous, faded and fuzzy. nine0003

Qualitative differences in sounds in different pairs of English vowels range from pronounced to almost imperceptible. It is easy to notice the difference between long and short sounds a: pay attention to how the words cart and cut are pronounced, they differ not only in duration, but also in sound. But the differences between long and short u are almost imperceptible: pool and pull sound very similar, only slightly different in length. The Scots generally pronounce them the same way, differing only in context. nine0003

In addition, the duration of the pronunciation of vowels is also affected by positional longitude - for example, stressed or unstressed position in a word. As a result, a short vowel sound in one word may sound longer than a long sound in another word.

Thus, it is not enough to rely only on the subjective duration of a vowel sound. All the features of short and long vowels described above must be taken into account when learning English. It remains to understand how to master the pronunciation of long and short sounds in practice. nine0003

How to learn to pronounce long and short English vowels

The main mistake foreigners make when pronouncing long and short English sounds is focusing only on duration. But with this approach, it is intuitively incomprehensible where the boundary between a long and a short sound passes: you can’t measure the length of a sound with a stopwatch. When trying to artificially lengthen or shorten a vowel, the sounds are unnaturally short or drawn out. nine0003

To learn how to pronounce long and short English sounds, you need to forget about the usual terminology "long" and "short". Try not to think about the duration of the sound at all. To correctly pronounce long and short vowels, you need to focus on their articulation, and not on duration. If we correctly reproduce the pronunciation of the vowel, then the duration will turn out to be correct automatically. Remember that long vowels require more tension at the root of the tongue, while short ones are pronounced without additional effort, easily and without tension. nine0003

Pay attention to how native speakers pronounce vowels - don't watch how long they draw them out, but watch the pronunciation, the articulation, the quality of the sound. Repeat, imitate, practice. For practice, it is best to use video lessons or a conversation with a native speaker, since audio materials do not make it possible to see articulation.

It is best to train long and short sounds not separately, but as part of words. First, this way you will note the influence of positional longitude on the duration of the sound in specific examples. Secondly, just as words are best learned in context, sounds are also best learned in the environment. nine0003

Practice pronunciation of long and short vowels in pairs of words to notice the difference between sounds, for example:

  • Sport – hot
  • Arm-cut
  • See-hit
  • Food-put
  • Fur – ago

When you learn how to pronounce long and short vowels correctly in English, it will become easy to distinguish between them in speech. When listening to speech, forget about the differences in duration, pay attention to the qualitative differences in sounds - how intensely the vowel is pronounced, how bright or faded it sounds, how pairs of sounds differ from each other, except for duration. nine0003

Sounds in English: pronunciation, transcription 🗣️

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It happens that you speak English with a foreigner, but he does not understand you. And then you find out that the letter “a” alone can be pronounced in six different ways. We understand English sounds in order to sound correctly and speak the same language with foreigners.

In the English language, the number of words that are not pronounced at all as they are written is very large - this is the result of historical changes and the standardization of written English in the 17th century. Knowing how English sounds are read, you can almost always read even the most intricate word. nine0003

The English alphabet has 26 letters, 20 vowels and 23 consonants. The more you delve into the English language, the more difficult words you will meet along the way. The science of phonetics will come in handy here, just in time. And we will share life hacks on the study of this topic.

Transcription of English sounds

In order to study all possible variations of sounds, linguists have developed an alphabet that contains special characters. This alphabet was called International Phonetic Alphabet (International Phonetic Alphabet).

These symbols are used in modern transcriptions of English words. Transcription, by the way, is a graphic representation of sounds. Indicate the transcription in square brackets.

Let's look at the examples below, how one letter can be read in two different ways. The difference in pronunciation can depend on the type of syllable, the position of the letter in the word, and whether the vowel is stressed. nine0003

  • In the word type (print / type), the letter y is in an open syllable and therefore reads as [aɪ].
  • In the word copy (copy / copy), the letter y is in an unstressed syllable at the end of the word and therefore reads like [i].

However, it is worth trying to learn the pronunciation of sounds and various combinations of sounds. There is no division into short and long consonants in Russian. In English, the incorrect pronunciation of such vowels leads to significant changes in the meaning of the word. nine0003

So, for example, confusing the short and long sound [i] (read as “and” in the Russian word “game”), you can accidentally say “I boarded a sheep” - I boarded a sheep [ʃ p], and not "I boarded a ship" - I boarded a ship [ʃ ɪ p].

English proficiency test

This English proficiency test was compiled by the Skysmart online school tutors. They prepared interesting and relevant tasks on modern topics to make the test both useful and interesting

General Table of English Consonants and Vowels (IPA)

Below is a table of all known English phonemes. The vowels are in the gray area and the consonants are in the yellow area. Short and long vowels are indicated on a light gray background, and diphthongs - sounds consisting of two elements - are located on a dark gray background.

All consonants are on a yellow background and are distinguished by font color. Voiceless consonants ( voiceless/unvoiced ) are marked in gray, and voiced ones ( voiced ) - black.

How many English words do you already know?

Let's define your vocabulary - without complex questions and with the help of smart algorithms.

Classification of sounds in English

In English, sounds are divided into two groups: vowels and consonants. Let's take a look at them.

Another effective way to quickly memorize English sounds is to sign up for English lessons for children 8 years old online at Skysmart School. nine0003

Vowel sounds of the English language

From the school curriculum of the Russian language, we remember that the main characteristic of vowel sounds is their melodiousness. This is due to the fact that when pronouncing a vowel sound, the air passing through the vocal cords vibrates and the sound freely leaves the oral cavity without encountering any obstacles in its path. Here is the rule for pronunciation of vowels:



Word examples



Word examples



c a t



l oo k, w ou ld, p u t



p e g, br ea d



c ar t, f a st (regional)



p i g , g i ve



b ur n, f ir st, t er m, h ear d, w or k


nine0128 ɒ

l o g, w a nt



t or n, d oor , w ar n, h au l, l aw , c a ll



pl u g, l o ve



wood e n, circ u s, sist er


p ai n, d ay , g a t e , st a tion



d ow n, sh ou t



sw ee t, h ea t, th ie f, th e s e



c oi n, b oy


tr ie d, l igh t, m y , shin e , m i nd


st air s, b ear , h are




r oa d, bl ow , b o ne, c o ld



f ear , b eer , h ere



m oo n, bl ue , gr ew , t u ne



p ure , c u re

Demo lesson in English

We will determine the level and set a goal, and then we will teach you to speak English fluently.

Consonant sounds of the English language

When articulating a sound, the air flow encounters obstacles in its path formed by the organs of speech: tongue, lips, teeth and alveoli. Passing through these barriers, air passes through the gap and noise is created. nine0003

nine0241 nine0205

th en



Word examples



Word examples



b aby



r abbit, wr ong



d og



s un, mou se , c ity, sc ience



f ield, ph oto



t ap




g ame



v an



h at



w as



ju dg e, g iant, bar ge


and es



c oo k , q ui ck , mi x , Ch ris



z ebra, plea se , i s



l amb





m onkey, co mb



th in



n ut, kn ife, gn at



ch ip, wa tch



ri ng , si n k



nine0128 sh ip, mi ss ion, ch ef

/p/ ​​


p a p er



trea s ure

English cheat sheets for parents

All the rules for English at hand

Natalya Naumova

for the previous article


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