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Spelling 01  - How Many Syllables?
How many syllables are there in the word 'geese'?

Spelling 01 - How Many Syllables?

The building blocks of the English language are several, and among them spellings and pronunciation play an important role in communicating effectively.

Spellings and pronunciations are built on the back of the 26 letters in the alphabet. These 26 letters are divided into 5 vowels and 21 consonants. You all know that the vowels are A, E, I, O and U. The consonants are the remaining 21 letters. In spellings it is almost imperative that a word must have at least one vowel in it, although you do find some words (such as FRY or CRY) that do not have a vowel. For all practical purposes the letter Y is treated as a vowel.

In pronunciation the vowels have a special place on account of their unique sounds. Since each word must contain a vowel sound it follows that each word must have either a vowel or a letter Y. The sound made by a vowel is termed a syllable.

If a word has more than one vowel it is possible to have more than one syllable. Some words do have two vowels bunched together, as for instance in the word EAT. In such cases there is usually only one syllable as the two vowels together make one sound.

Sometimes words have vowels which are silent while pronouncing. For instance, CAKE is one such word where the E is silent (but changes the sound of the letter A from A to AY) and this word is a single syllable word.

You might also find words which have the same vowel appearing in sequence such as CHEESE, and this word is also a single syllable word (as the two E's together are pronounced EE rather than E-E).

Remember that the number of syllables a word has is equal to the number of times the sound of a vowel is heard, rather than how many times the vowel itself appears. Play the quiz that follows and learn some more about syllables.
1.
How many syllables are there in the word ATROCIOUSLY?
Four syllables
Three syllables
Two syllables
One syllable
Since there are five vowels (A, O, I, O and U) it follows that there should be five syllables. But there are only four syllables as I,O and U come together side by side to form one syllable. Don't forget the last Y is also treated as a vowel and counts for one syllable
2.
How many syllables are there in the word GEESE?
Four syllables
Three syllables
Two syllables
One syllable
Since there are three vowels (E, E and E) it follows that there should be three syllables. But there is only one syllable as the first two Es come together side by side and you can hear only one sound. The last E is silent
3.
How many syllables are there in the word SACKED?
One syllable
Two syllables
Three syllables
Four syllables
Since there are two vowels (A and E) it follows that there should be two syllables. But there is only one syllable as the E is silent and KD is pronounced without the E, giving a sound similar to KT. The only vowel sound is that of A
4.
How many syllables are there in the word GYPSY?
No syllables
One syllable
Two syllables
Three syllables
Since there are no vowels there should be no syllables. But the letter Y takes on a vowel sound, similar to that if a letter I, and hence there are two syllables. Remember there are many words such as SHY, PRY and SKY without the normal vowels
5.
How many syllables are there in the word CONSONANT?
One syllable
Two syllables
Three syllables
Four syllables
Since there are three vowels (O, O and A) and they are not next to one another, it follows that there are three syllables
6.
How many syllables are there in the word WORRYING?
One syllable
Two syllables
Three syllables
Four syllables
Since there are two vowels (O and I) it follows that there should be two syllables. But there are three syllables as the Y is treated as a vowel
7.
How many syllables are there in the word VOWEL?
One syllable
Two syllables
Three syllables
Four syllables
Since there are two vowels (O and E) and these are not next to one another, it follows that there are two syllables
8.
How many syllables are there in the word COURSE?
One syllable
Two syllables
Three syllables
Four syllables
Since there are three vowels (O, U and E) it follows that there should be three syllables. But there is only one syllable as O and U come together side by side and you can hear only one sound. The last E is silent
9.
How many syllables are there in the word SHOULDER?
Two syllables
Three syllables
Four syllables
Five syllables
Since there are three vowels (O, U and E) it follows that there should be three syllables. But there are only two syllables as the O and U come together side by side and you can hear only one sound
10.
How many syllables are there in the word REVOLUTION?
Three syllables
Four syllables
Five syllables
Six syllables
Since there are five vowels (E, O, U, I and O) it follows that there should be five syllables. But there are only four syllables as the I and O come together side by side and you can hear only one sound
Author:  V T Narendra

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