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Syllables 1 - Break the Word into Syllables
How many syllables are in the word 'giant'?

Syllables 1 - Break the Word into Syllables

The English alphabet is a collection of letters consisting of 5 vowels and 21 consonants. A group of letters constitutes a word and generally each word must contain at least one vowel, or one vowel sound, and these sounds constitute syllables.

English is about speaking, listening, reading and writing. While reading and writing depend on spellings for the proper understanding of the language, speaking and listening depend upon pronunciation. A word is pronounced in a particular way and it is here that syllables come in handy. Each word is broken into units of speech and we call each unit a syllable.

Each word will have a minimum of one syllable, but may have more. For instance, FOR is a word with one syllable, CRI-CKET is a word with two syllables and IN-CRED-IB-LE is a word with four syllables. Can you see that each syllable contains just one vowel sound? You will also notice that INCREDIBLE has four syllables and each syllable contains one vowel. This leads us to the conclusion that there are as many syllables in a word as there are vowels and this rule has, of course, exceptions!

When two vowels appear together they can be treated as a single vowel. For instance, PREACHER has three vowels but only two syllables because the EA is treated as one vowel and the last E is another vowel. BLOUSE has three vowels but is considered to be one syllable word because OU is treated as one vowel and the last E is treated as a silent letter.

Remember that the length of the word and the number of consonants in the word have no bearing on the number of syllables. For instance, I, ME, LENGTH and RHYTHM are all words with one syllable. You will be surprised at RHYTHM because it does not have a vowel but sometimes, as you know, Y is considered as a vowel.

Take this quiz and find out how much you know about syllables.

1.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word CRICKET from the four options.
cricket
cri-ck-et
cri-cket
c-ricket
'Cricket' is a two syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels and this rule works in the case of 'cricket'
2.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word BANANAS from the four options.
bananas
b-ana-nas
bana-nas
ba-nan-as
'Bananas' is a three syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels and this rule works in the case of 'bananas'
3.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word STRENGTH from the four options.
stren-gth
strength
streng-th
st-reng-th
'Strength' is a single syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels and this rule works for the word 'strength'. 'Strength' is one of the longest words with a single syllable and, of course, it has only one vowel
4.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word TERMINATION from the four options.
ter-mi-na-ti-on
term-ination
term-in-ation
ter-mi-na-tion
'Termination' is a four syllable word. Remember that there are as many syllables as there are vowels sounds. The 'io' in 'termination' would be treated as a single vowel sound and hence there are only four syllables despite the word having five vowels
5.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word RASPBERRIES from the four options.
rasp-berr-ies
rasp-ber-ri-es
rasp-berries
rasp-berri-es
'Raspberries' is a three syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels except but not in this case. Here 'ie' would be treated as a single vowel sound and hence 'raspberries' has only three syllables despite having four vowels
6.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word TEACHER from the four options.
t-ea-cher
t-each-er
te-acher
teach-er
'Teacher' is a two syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels except in some cases. Here 'ea' would be treated as a single vowel sound and hence 'teacher' has only two syllables, despite having three vowels
7.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word TENNIS from the four options.
ten-nis
tennis
t-ennis
te-nn-is
'Tennis' is a two syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels. This rule works for the word 'tennis'
8.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word HOUSE from the four options.
hou-se
ho-use
ho-u-se
house
'House' is a single syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels but the word 'house' is an exception - it contains three vowels but only one syllable. This is because 'ou' is a single vowel sound and the final 'e' is silent
9.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word GIANT from the four options.
gi-ant
g-iant
gia-nt
giant
'Giant' is a two syllable word. Remember that generally (but not always!) there are as many syllables as there are vowels
10.
Pick the correct syllable division for the word CUPBOARD from the four options.
cup-bo-ard
cupboard
cup-board
cupbo-ard
'Cupboard' is a two syllable word. Remember that generally there are as many syllables as there are vowels. In the case of 'cupboard' 'oa' would be treated as a single vowel sound and hence it has only two syllables despite the word having three vowels
Author:  V T Narendra

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