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A vowel is a speech sound made by the vocal cords. It is also a type of letter in the alphabet.

The letters of the English alphabet are either vowels or consonants or both. A vowel sound comes from the lungs, through the vocal cords, and is not blocked, so there is no friction. All English words have vowels. These letters are vowels in English:

A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y

The letter Y can be a vowel (as in the word "cry" or "candy"), or it can be a consonant (as in "yellow").

These five or six letters stand for about 20 vowel sounds in most English accents.[1] This important fact helps to explain why pronunciation can be difficult for both native speakers and learners of English.

  • The rest of the letters of the alphabet are consonants:
B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y (sometimes), and Z

Related pages[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Crystal, David 1995. The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge. p237
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