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Syllables (Monosyllables) 01
The word "clock" contains only one syllable. Words such as these are known as monosyllables.

Syllables (Monosyllables) 01

Monosyllables are words which make a single beat. As we've seen in the Syllables (counting) quiz, words can be broken down into syllables. Some words contain only one syllable and these are monosyllabic words. "It", "cat" and "and" are all monosyllabic.

What would it be like if we wrote in words with one beat all the time and did not choose words with two beats or more? How long would it take you to see that these were the sole type of word you read? Would you see this at once or when some time had gone by? The words would sound like chop chop chop and so on and so on.

Did you notice that the last four sentences were written only in monosyllables? Anything written in this way becomes repetitive and monotonous very quickly. Just as it is important to vary your vocabulary and the lengths of your sentences, it is also important to vary the rhythm of your writing, too, by using words with different numbers of syllables.

Take this quiz to see how well you can spot monosyllabic words.

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1.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Yellow fruits are lemons, peaches and bananas.
fruits, are, and
fruits, are, lemons
lemons, peaches, bananas
Yellow, fruits, are
Ba/nan/as has three syllables
2.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Red fruits are strawberries, raspberries and cherries.
are, strawberries, raspberries, and
Red, fruits, are, and
Red, fruits, strawberries, raspberries
strawberries, raspberries, and, cherries
Straw/berr/ies and rasp/berr/ies have three syllables each
3.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

The motorway remains open for overnight traffic.
motorway, open
overnight, traffic
remains, open
The, for
Monosyllables have one syllable only. "Open" has two: o/pen
4.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Grandfather clocks eventually become antiques.
antiques
become
clocks
Grandfather
E/vent/u/al/ly has five syllables
5.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Spectators watch table tennis tournaments.
Spectators
table
tennis
watch
Individual syllables can contain quite a few letters. "Watch" contains five
6.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Teachers remember pupils' names easily.
names
pupil's
remember
Teachers
Eas/i/ly has three syllables
7.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Making tea quickly using boiling water is dangerous.
Making, tea
tea, is
using, boiling
water, is
Dang/er/ous has three syllables
8.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Newspapers or magazines announce current affairs.
affairs
announce
current
or
Mag/a/zines has three syllables
9.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Charlie returned Martin's cricket ball quickly.
ball
cricket
Martin's
quickly
"Cricket" has two syllables: crick/et; so do "Martin" and "Charlie"
10.
Look at the following sentence and select the answer that contains only monosyllables.

Musical instrument construction takes ages.
ages
construction
instrument
takes
All syllables must have at least one vowel

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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