What are Long and Short Vowel Sounds? Learning Concepts
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Sounds

Long and Short Vowels for Class 1 English

A proper understanding of vowels plays a very important role in kids’ learning. In this learning concept, students will get to learn vowel phonic sounds for long and short vowels that will help to improve their pronunciation.

In this learning concept, the students will learn about:

  • Identify the long vowel sounds and short vowel sounds.
  • The difference between long and short vowel sound
  • The words with two vowels together.

Each concept is elaborated to class 1 English students using definitions, examples, illustrations, common mistakes, and concept maps. Once you go through the concept, check your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page.
Download the long and short vowel worksheets and check your answers with the worksheet solutions provided in PDF format.

What are the Vowels in English?

  • A vowel is a letter of the alphabet that illustrates an open sound. A letter that produces sound by allowing the breath to come out of the mouth without any interference.
  • Vowels are five vowels in the English Alphabet. They are a, e, i, o, and u.

A vowel has more than one sound. Vowels can be divided into two parts based on their sounds – a) Long vowel sound and b) Short vowel sound.

Img 1_Types of vowels

a)What is a Long Vowel Sound?

When a vowel is said, sometimes the sound it makes is that of a long vowel sound.

There are two ways when long vowel sounds are used.

i. A long vowel sound is made when two vowels sit next to each other in a word.

Examples:

1. When ‘e’ and ‘a’ sit together, it makes a long /e/ sound.

Img 2_Example of long vowel Img 2_Example of long vowel Img 2_Example of long vowel
head bread beach

2. When ‘i’ and ‘e’ appear next to each other it makes a long /i/ sound.

Img 3_Example of long vowel Img 3_Example of long vowel Img 3_Example of long vowel
pie tie lie

3. If we put together ‘a’ and ‘i’, the word makes a long /a/ sound.

Img 4_Example of long vowel Img 4_Example of long vowel Img 4_Example of long vowel
jail mail rail

3. If two ‘o’s sit together, it makes a long /u/ sound.

Img 5_Example of long vowel Img 5_Example of long vowel Img 5_Example of long vowel
moon zoo pool

5. When two ‘e’s sit together in a word, it makes a long /e/ sound..

Img 6_Example of long vowel Img 6_Example of long vowel Img 6_Example of long vowel
green knee cheese

6. When ‘o’ and ‘a’ sit together, a word makes a long /o/ sound .

 Img 7_Example of long vowel  Img 7_Example of long vowel  Img 7_Example of long vowel
boat goat toad

What is a Short Vowel Sound?

Some vowels make a short sound as these sounds are not stretched.

The short vowels always come at the beginning or middle of the word. It never is at the end of a word.

Examples:

Img 8_Example of short vowel Img 8_Example of short vowel Img 8_Example of short vowel
tap web pin
Img 9_Example of short vowel Img 9_Example of short vowel
top mug

The vowels in the words say their sounds - /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/. Therefore, these words are making short vowel sounds.

Look at the long and short vowel sounds list to have better understanding:

  1. Img 10_Example of long ‘a’ vowel
  2. Img 14_Example of long ‘e’ vowel
  3.  Img 18_Example of long ‘i’ vowel
  4. Img 22_Example of long ‘o’ vowel
  5. Img 26_Example of long ‘o’ vowel
  6. Common mistake

    i. Some vowels may still make long vowel sounds when used by itself. One such letter is ‘u’ which also produces long vowel sounds.

    Examples:

    Img (30-32)_Common mistake_Long and short vowels Img (30-32)_Common mistake_Long and short vowels Img (30-32)_Common mistake_Long and short vowels
    huge plate bike

    The vowel ‘u’ in ‘huge’ makes a long /u/ sound.

    The vowel ‘a’ in ‘plate’ makes a long /a/ sound.

    The vowel ‘i’ in ‘bike’ makes a long /i/ sound.

    2. Don’t get confused between the short ‘i’ vowel sound and the long ‘e’ vowel sound.

    Example:

    Short 'i' Long 'e'
    igloo eel
    fin key
    pin tea
    iguana eagle
    Img 33_Long and short vowels chart
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