What is Vowel and Consonants? What are the different between them?

The English alphabet has vowels and consonants, from 26 alphabets there are 5 vowels A, E, I, O, U and the rest of the alphabet letters are consonants.

However, there is the exception of the letter Y, which can act as a consonant and a vowel.

What is a vowel?

A vowel is a sound that is made when air flows out of the mouth without being blocked by any part of the mouth or throat.

What is a consonant?

A consonant is a sound that is made when air is partially blocked by part of the mouth or throat.

All words in English have at least one vowel.

Let’s look at some examples:-
  • Hat

Here we can see the letter, ‘H’ is a consonant and ‘a’ is a vowel and ‘t’ is also a consonant.

  • Bed
  • Boy
  • Beg
  • Bat
  • Sun
  • Son
  • Pig
  • Pet

Above all words have only one vowel.

In English grammar some words have more than one vowels:-
  • Look
  • Book
  • Suit
  • Sheep
  • Powder
  • Picture
  • Mobile
  • Computer
  • Television

Above all examples have more than one vowel.

All vowels can present in a single word also,

In English grammar there are a lot of examples having 5 vowels but the most useable examples are:-
  • Education
  • Precautions
  • Misbehavior
  • Automobile
  • Authentication

Now, let’s see how the letter Y can act as a vowel and a consonant.

Let’s start with vowels-

For example:-

  • sky 

Here, the letter ‘Y’ makes an  ‘I’ sound and the letter i’ is a vowel. Therefore in this example the letter Y is considered to be a vowel.

It’s important to remember that the letter Y is a vowel when there are no other vowels in the word.

So as we can see here, the letter ‘s’ is a consonant and the letter ‘k’ is also a consonant and the letter ‘Y’ is a vowel.

Let’s look into another example:-

  • Try

Again, we can see here, the letter ‘T’ is a consonant and the letter ‘r’ is also a consonant and the letter ‘Y’ is a vowel.

  • Angry

In this word the letter ‘Y’ makes an ‘e’ sound and the letter ‘e’ is a vowel. Therefore in this example the letter Y is considered to be a vowel.

‘Y’ as a consonant:-

The letter ‘y’ is considered to be a consonant when it comes at the beginning of the word and makes the ‘ye’ sound. 

For example:-

  • Yellow
  • You
  • Yelp
  • Yolk
Each vowel has a short and a long sound

Vowel A:-

  • Short sound :- Apple, Cat
  • Long sound:- cake, Bake

Vowel E:-

  • Short sound :- Jet, Net
  • Long sound:- Feet, Leaf

Vowel I :-

  • Short sound :- Fish, Pig
  • Long sound:- Kite, ice-cream

Vowel O :-

  • Short sound :- Clock, Dog
  • Long sound:-Rope, Boat

Vowel U:-

  • Short sound :- Sun, Jump
  • Long sound:- Cute, Unicorn

Up to rules, you can follow which will make reading words easily:-

The first is, when you have one vowel in a word here, the vowel sounds like it’s short sound.

For Example.:-

  • Jam

Here the vowel “a” makes a short sound. 

  • Bed
  • Had

If there are two vowels in a word then the first vowel sounds like its alphabet name and the second vowel is silent. 

For Example:

  • Bake

There are two vowels A and E. The letter ‘A’ makes its alphabet name, which is the long sound A, and the letter ‘e’ is silent.

  • Same
  • Coat
  • Goat

Common difference between vowels and consonants:-

VowelConsonant
There is no contact between the speech organs in the production of vowels.The air does not go out freely; it is rather obstructed by different speech organs.
Vowels are free air stream.Consonants are Blocked air stream.
Vowels are produced with no obstruction.Consonants are produced with various type of obstruction.
There are 5 vowels in 26 alphabets.Consonants are produced with various type of obstruction.
Quiz:-
  1. Is the letter “Y” is a consonant or vowel?
  2. How many vowels are there in the word “Nursery” ?
  3. How many consonants are there in the word “Skate” ?

Comment Your Answer.

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