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Syllables (Counting) 01
These are inedible toadstools. There are four syllables in the word "inedible".

Syllables (Counting) 01

See if you can count how many units of speech there are in the word "syllables". A syllable is a unit of speech that makes a single beat. "Wet" contains just one syllable whilst "folder" contains two ("fold" and "er").

Not everyone finds it easy to work out how many syllables are in a word. You can think of syllables as beats in spoken English.Try tapping your finger for every beat you hear - just like you might when listening to music. Nursery rhymes are very rhythmic with regularly stressed syllables so that you can hear them well. Think of "Humpty Dumpty" for instance:

Hump/ty/Dump/ty/sat/on/a/wall.
Hump/ty/Dump/ty/had/a/great/fall.
All/the/King's/hors/es/and/all/the/King's/men
Could/n't/put/Hump/ty/to/geth/er/a/gain.

The first two lines have eight syllables each and the second two lines have ten.

All syllables need at least one vowel and may have consonants both before and after the vowel. Consonants can be in clusters. In the word "through", which is a single syllable, the thr- at the beginning is a consonant cluster and the -gh at the end is another (although this one is a digraph, since the t and h together make a single sound).

Take this quiz to practice counting syllables. This will help when it comes to analysing poetry later.

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1.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Eternal
2
3
4
5
E/tern/al = 3 syllables
2.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Disappointment
4
5
6
7
Dis/ap/point/ment = 4 syllables
3.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Prerequisite
4
5
6
7
Pre/re/quis/ite = 4 syllables
4.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Engineering
1
2
3
4
Eng/in/eer/ing = 4 syllables
5.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Simultaneously
3
4
5
6
Sim/ult/an/e/ous/ly = 6 syllables
6.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Performance
1
2
3
4
Per/form/ance = 3 syllables
7.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Capacity
1
2
3
4
Cap/ac/it/y = 4 syllables
8.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Aristocrat
1
2
3
4
A/rist/o/crat = 4 syllables
9.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Compulsory
1
2
3
4
Com/puls/or/y = 4 syllables
10.
Decide how many syllables are in the following word.
Inedible
1
2
3
4
In/ed/ib/le = 4 syllables

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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