The English Alphabet

An alphabet is a standard set of letters or building blocks that make up a word in the English language.  The alphabet is made up of vowels and consonants. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet of which there are five (5) vowels and 21 consonants.

  • Five of the letters in the English Alphabet are vowels: A, E, I, O, U.
  • The remaining 21 letters are consonants: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Z, and usually W and Y.

Each letter has a standard phonic (pronunciation), however, may have several sounds for the same letter. To make it more confusing, a single sound may be used for 2 different letters. Placing these letters together will help you make words.

# # # Capital
1 A a /eɪ a
2 B b /biː/ bee
3 C c /siː/ cee
4 D d /diː/ dee
5 E e /iː/ e
6 F f /ɛf/ ef
7 G g /dʒiː/ gee
8 H h /heɪtʃ/ haitch
9 I i /aɪ/ i
10 J j /dʒeɪ/ jay
11 K k /keɪ/ kay
12 L l /ɛl/ el
13 M m /ɛm/ em
14 N n /ɛn/ en
15 O o /oʊ/ o
16 P p /piː/ pee
17 Q q /kjuː/ que
18 R r /ɑːr/ ar
19 S s /ɛs/ ess
20 T t /tiː/ tee
21 U u /juː/ u
22 V v /viː/ vee
23 W w /ˈdʌbəl.juː/ double-u
24 X x /ɛks/ ex
25 Y y /waɪ/ wy
26 Z z /zi zee

Not only do the letters make up words, but can make up digraphs. Digraphs are not considered separate letters of the alphabet. However placed together can make up a distinct sound. Often these sounds are different to the sounds you may be familiar.

Digraph Initial or Final Digraph Example Words
“ch-” initial choice, cheese, chick, chair, chain, child
“kn-” initial knight, knot, know, knife, knit, knock
“ph-” initial phone, photo, phonics, phrase, physician, pharmacy
“sh-” initial shoe, shout, shark, ship, sheep, shout
“th-” initial thumb, throat, thing, three, thin, throw
“wh-” initial whale, while, whole, what, when, where
“wr-” initial wreck, wrench, wreath, wrist, wrong, wring
“-ch” final which, rich, such, much, pinch, lunch
“-ck” final luck, tick, quick, tack, pluck, sick
“-sh” final wish, dish, flash, rush, push, brush
“-ss” final chess, dress, mess, miss, bliss, class
“-tch” final hatch, watch,fetch, glitch, witch, clutch
Vowel Digraphs Lists
“ai” pail, rain, stain, gain, frail, chain
“ay” stay, play, away, hay, day, say
“ee” feet, sheet, sheep, week, peek, meet
“ea” speak, cheat, neat, weak, read, beach
“ea” bread, head, thread, spread, lead, tread
“ie” field, shield, chief, thief, piece, movie
“ie” pie, tie, lie, cried, tried, flies
“oa” boat, toad, road, loan, goal, goat
“oe” toe, poet, foe, oboe, woe, goes
“ue” glue, rescue, clue, argue, fuel, blue
“ui” fruit, juice, suit, cruise, bruise, recruit
“oo” book, foot, look, took, shook, cookie
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