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Phonics Rules

Help Your Kids Learn the Steadfast Phonics Rules to Study Better

In order to have a complete knowledge of a particular language, it is necessary to know the basic rules of phonics. Read this article on phonics rules for more information on phonics activities and phonics spelling rules.
EduZenith Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Giving her daughter a helping hand with her homework
Phonics is the method of teaching speakers of a language, specially English, to read and write that language. The learners are taught the connection between the sounds and letters they correspond to. The definition of phonics can be stated as, 'Phonics refers to associating letters or letter groups with the sound they represent.' The sounds that are made by individual letters and their combination used in various contexts can also be called phonics. The scientific study of words and the sounds made by them is called phonetics, which is a branch of linguistics. There are many linguistic rules in order to learn the proper pronunciation and use of the language.

Phonics Rules for Spellings

In order to master the art of reading and pronouncing words one must know the basic phonetic rules. Here are some rules regarding spellings to teach phonics to children.
  • There are five vowels in the English language - a, e, i, o and u. There must be a vowel in every word. Like for instance; Us, On, His, She etc.
  • The sound of the vowel in a one syllable word that ends in a consonant is short. For e.g. Sock, Mug, Mat, Fish etc.
  • Unless the word has an open syllable or the vowel is accompanied by another vowel, the sound of the vowel will be short.
  • The spelling of the words that end with a 'k' sound are 'ck'. For instance; peck, trick, rock, pluck etc.
  • When there are two vowels at the beginning of a single word, the sound of the first vowel is long and the second vowel is silent. This rule is applicable to all words beginning with two vowels unless they are a diphthong or continuous vowels (gliding vowels) that include 'au' or 'ou'.
  • There are many overlapping spelling patterns that have the same sound, but which can be spelled differently and the same spelling may represent different sounds.
  • There are more than forty phonemes in the English language and two letters can often be fused together to represent distinct sounds, that are known as digraphs. For example when 't' and 'h' are placed together, they make 'th' as in 'that', 'thank', etc.
  • Words that end with a 'ch' sound have the spelling 'tch' like watch, thatch, match etc.
  • Words beginning with 'wa' are usually pronounced as 'ah' sound instead of the short sound like water, want, etc.
  • Words with a vowel like 'e' that is preceded by a consonant will have a long sound. For instance, cube, late, nine, etc.
  • When 'y' is used as a vowel, it usually sounds like 'i'. But when 'y' comes at the long words, it normally sounds like 'e'. Like in the word gym, the sound produced is short. But in the words happy, puppy and lucky, the sound comes out as a long 'e'.
  • The words and syllables that end have vowels with long sounds and contain 'a' in them are pronounced as 'ah'. Syllables that contain 'a' and have a long sound like in the words paper, baker, taker, maker, etc.
  • Words ending with 't' or 'd' give out the sound as pronounced in 'ed'. For e.g. listed, added, ended, etc.
  • In a few exceptions, the consonant 's' that is followed by 'u' is pronounced as 'sh'. Like in the words sugar and sure, the sounds come out as 'sh'ugar and 'sh'ure.
This was all about rules of phonetics. Go through these phonics games for first grade and let your child learn the beauty of the language through play. So what are you waiting for. Grab a book and start practicing reading with these right phonic rules!