Long and short letter sounds

Long & Short Vowels: Sounds & Word Examples - Video & Lesson Transcript

English Courses / College English Composition: Help and Review Course / Teaching Reading Chapter

Christina Boggs

Chrissy has taught secondary English and history and writes online curriculum. She has an M.S.Ed. in Social Studies Education.

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Marc Mancinelli

Marc is a long-time HS English teacher and has taught at the college level. He has a master's degree in literature and a doctorate in education.

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Long and short vowels make different sounds. Learn the difference between long and short vowels, how they sound separately and when they are together, and check out some examples of how these vowels sound when they are placed in words. Updated: 12/20/2021

What is a Vowel?

First things first: what's a vowel? There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, but there are only five vowels: A, E, I, O, and U.

What about vowels makes them so special? Of the 26 letters, A, E, I, O, and U are the only ones that represent sounds you can make just by using your voice and opening your mouth. Try saying the letter A, but hold the sound for five seconds. Notice how your mouth does not need to move to say it out loud. You can do the same thing for the letters E, I, O, and U.

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  • 0:01 What Is a Vowel?
  • 0:38 Long vs. Short Vowels
  • 2:55 Using Long & Short…
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary