All About English Grammar & Vocabulary

Discussions on tuition centres/enrichment services that specialise in English.

All About English Grammar & Vocabulary

Postby ChiefKiasu » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:51 pm

Is Y a vowel or a consonant?

Just when I thought I knew everything in English, I came across this question in "The Word Machine" DVDs. That shattered all that we have learnt that AEIOU are the only vowels in the English language!

The fact is, there is a vowel in every word. So what about words such as:
by, my, myth or hymn?

A further check on the Internet showed that Oxford Dictionaries say that Y can be used as a consonant or a vowel! That just blew my mind.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Re: Is Y a vowel or a consonant?

Postby jedamum » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:26 am

ChiefKiasu wrote:A further check on the Internet showed that Oxford Dictionaries say that Y can be used as a consonant or a vowel!

If I remember correctly, it was started in Leapfrog's Talking Words Factory DVD that 'Y' is sometimes used as a vowel. However, when my boy's kindergarten teacher taught vowels and my boy volunteered that 'Y' is also a vowel, the teacher said that vowels only consist of 'AEIOU'. I guess a lot of us are not aware of it. :)

jedamum
Councillor
Councillor
 
Posts: 8517
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:58 pm
Total Likes: 20


Postby EN » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:41 am

A few years back, I had a chance to sit through my daughter's class in MASC. The kids were learning phonics on that day touching on a,e,i,o,u. She highlighted that "Mr Y" is the most hardworking letter of all vowel because letter Y helps letter "i" and letter "e". I am amaze on how well she was able to teach phonic & making the kids remember the hardworking "Mr Y".

EN
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1108
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:06 pm
Total Likes: 0


Difference of 'a' as in 'pat' and 'e' as in pet?

Postby PlayfulFairy » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:01 pm

Hi,

I would like to know the difference between the following sounds. How do I teach my child to differentiate it and spell accordingly?
Thanks!

PlayfulFairy
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:29 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: Difference of 'a' as in 'pat' and 'e' as in pet?

Postby tamarind » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:12 pm

Difficult to explain :D

Try this website.

http://www.starfall.com/n/level-a/learn ... load.htm?f

tamarind
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 3113
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:37 am
Total Likes: 0



Postby sashimi » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:33 am

Everyone needs to understand that the English language is actually a rojak language - a very impure and cross-bred language. It's a combination of Anglo-Saxon/ French, Latin, Germanic languages (including Icelandic) and more. And not to mention, in our context, Chinese, Malay, etc.....

Because of this, English uses the same letters/letter-combinations in different words from different languages with different sounds. Hence the confusion.

I'm afraid there's really no practical way to make sense of this for a kid except by route learning. There isn't really a formula for it all.

But take heart, language is like a piece of music. Once you use and hear it long enough, you will know it reflexively by heart.

sashimi
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
Total Likes: 1


This might help..

Postby buds » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:24 am

Heyya Playful Fairy,

I'm newbie, came across your post.
This might help..
Try with your child and provide your feedback, ok.

The /a/ sound as in the word 'pat' > stretch the /a/ sound a little longer.
Mouth opened wider... stretch that sound for say 5 seconds.

For the /e/ as in the word 'pet', give only short abrupt /eh/ sound.

Explain to child, each time he hears the longer /a/ sound it means
the middle vowel sound 'a'. And the shorter abrupt sound will
represent 'e'.

Happy trying..

Disclaimer :
3-letter phonetic words are usually categorized as 3 letter words with
short vowel sounds. In your case, this method is purely to help with the
confusion of spelling the phonetic sounds he has learnt. It is frustrating
for a child to always know he read it right but only to spell/write it wrong.
Hope this might work for you.. ;)

buds
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 22681
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:21 am
Total Likes: 84


Postby Picolo » Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:30 pm

Different phonics systems use different stories to introduce y as a 'sometimes vowel'. In Jolly Phonics, we were introduced ' Shy i, Toughy y'.

The story goes...
The letter i is very 'shy' and 'toughy y' takes its place. For example the words 'day' and 'boy' are not written 'dai' or 'boi' because 'i' is too 'shy' to be seen at the end of the words. In the word 'cry', y is considered the vowel i/y.

Picolo
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:03 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby LA » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:22 am

Hi all, just to give my 2 cents worth:

Vowels are, strictly speaking, sounds, not letters of the alphabet.

The letters of the alphabet used to represent vowel sounds are a, e, i, o, u, w, and y.

Actually, 'i', 'u' 'w' and 'y' can represent either semi-vowels or full vowels. The problem with many Singapore English teachers especially at the lower levels, is that they teach spelling as a system of letters rather than sounds thus, sometimes confusing students who have attended comprehensive phonics classes with different explanations.

LA
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:00 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: Is Y a vowel or a consonant?

Postby spikey » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:44 pm

ChiefKiasu wrote:Just when I thought I knew everything in English, I came across this question in "The Word Machine" DVDs. That shattered all that we have learnt that AEIOU are the only vowels in the English language!

The fact is, there is a vowel in every word. So what about words such as:
by, my, myth or hymn?

A further check on the Internet showed that Oxford Dictionaries say that Y can be used as a consonant or a vowel! That just blew my mind.


i didn't know this too! Guess that the education system has definitely improved over the last 30 yrs! :D

spikey
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:30 pm
Total Likes: 0


Next

Return to English