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English Sounds and Spelling (#5), by Dennis Oliver

 

English Sounds and Spelling #5:

 

Many languages have a sound that's similar to the English
/
ey / sound (the vowel sound in say and they). In languages
that use Roman (Latin) letters, this sound is usually a "pure"
vowel and is often shown by the letter
e. In English, / ey / is
actually
two sounds (a combination of "pure e" and "i") and
it has many common spellings:

spelling
  examples
     

ay
  bay, clay, day, gay, gray, hay, lay,
may, pay, play, pray, say, slay, spray,
stay, stray, sway, tray, way
     

ai
  bail, bait, braid, chain, daily, fail, frail,
gain, grain, hail, laid, lain, maid, mail,
maim, main, nail, paid, pail, pain, paint,
plain, quail, quaint, raid, rail, rain,
sail, slain, stain, strain, tail, train, trait,
vain, wail, waist, wait, attain, complain,
detain, entertain, explain, refrain
     

aC*e
 

ace, ache*, age, ate, bake, bale, bane, base,
came, cane, cape, cave, date, face, fade,
fake, fame, fate, faze, gale, game, gave,
gaze, glade, glaze, grace, grade, grate,
graze, hale, hate, haze, jade, kale, lace,
lake, lame, lane, late, made, male, mane,
mate, maze, name, pace, pale, pane, pate,
pave, phase, plane, quake, race, rate, rave,
sale, same, sane, save, scale, space, spade,
stake, stale, take, tale, tame, tape, vane,
wade, wane

* ch, here, acts as a single consonant (/ k /)

     

ey
 

grey*, hey, obey, prey, they

* also spelled gray

     

ei /
eigh
  rein, skein, veil, vein
deign, feign, reign
eight, freight, neigh, sleigh, weigh

* C = consonant

________________________________________________

 

Special Note:

Be careful! Many words have the same sound, but
different spellings and meanings--for example,

ate / eight; bail / bale; faze / phase; hail / hale;
lain / lane; made / maid; mail / male; main / mane;
pail / pale; pain / pane; plain / plane; pray / prey;
rain / reign / rein; sail / sale; slay / sleigh;
tail / tale; vane / vein; wait / weight; way / weigh

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