The English Alphabet | Vowels | Short vowel | long vowel | Diphthongs

Lesson 1

The English Alphabet


The letters which represents the basic sounds of English are called the English Alphabet.

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

1.       The English alphabet can be written in two shapes: Small and Capital.

Small letters:   a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Capital letters: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

2.       The English alphabet has 26 letters: 21 consonants, 5 vowels.

21 Consonants: b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z

5 Vowels: a e i o u



A vowel is a sound pronounced with an open vocal tract, so that the tongue does not touch the lips, teeth or roof of the mouth. The vowel letters help other letters to make proper sound. The English alphabet has five vowels letters i.e. a, e, i, o, u and 21 consonants i.e. b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z

There are six short vowels, five long vowels and eight diphthongs


6 Short vowel Symbols



At the beginning

In the Middle


/æ  /      a      as        in

add, am, apple

Rat, pan, fast


 / e/      e      as        in

edge, end, elf

Pen, bed, net


  / I/    i       as        in

ink, ill, igloo

Fish, kick, ship


 / ɒ /      o     as        in

Ox, on, office

Frog, lock, pond


/ ʌ /        u    as        in

up, under, umbrella

Hut, bug, bus


/  ʊ /             as        in

Book, wool, pull



5 long vowel Symbols





At the beginning

In the Middle


  / a: /      a      as        in

Army, almond, alm

Star, car, bar


  / i: /      e      as        in

Eel, Egypt, jeep

Week, feeble, kneel


/ ɔ: /        o     as        in

Born, horse, force


/ u: /         u    as        in

Loose, boon, foolish

Zoo, doom, room


 / ɜ: /              as        in

Burn, nurse, shirt

Worm, curtain, certain



A diphthong is a sound made by combining two vowels, specifically when it starts as one vowel sound and goes to another, like the oy sound in oil. Diphthongs are also included in long vowels


Buy, Eye, Lie, Right, Laid, Shout, How, Allow, Power, Voice, Joy, Low, Clay, Foil, Shout, Coin, Tower, Shower, May, Say




1.       Define vowels and consonants with examples

2.       What are short and long vowels? Explain with examples.

3.       What are diphthongs? Explain with examples.

4.       Write down five words with ‘igh’ silent letters.