You know what they say, you learn something new every day.
I went to help out at my son’s kindy class yesterday – and was given a crash course in vowel pronunciation by a bunch of five-year-olds.
Repeat after C2’s kindy class:
What this means is that when there are two vowels side by side in a word, you pronounce the long sound of that first vowel and don’t pronounce the second vowel at all. to be more succinct, when two vowels talk, the first one says its name.
In case you’re wondering, a long vowel sound is pronounced the same as its name: A, E, I, O, U.
For example, take a seat. I mean take the word seat: S-E-A-T. You pronounce the E but not the A. “s-E-(a)-t”.
I was in such pain when I stubbed my toe!
In ‘pain’, the A speaks up, but not the I. In ‘toe’, you say the O, but the E is silent.
It was raining, so I grabbed my coat from the beam.
Ice-cream by the beach is a perfect treat!
I also apply this rule when there’s a vowel-consonant-vowel:
* bite, bone, bade
* gate, game, grain
* side, strike, shame
* tale, tiger, time, these.
We booked the Acorn Hotel even though it has a crazy concierge and no decent toilet paper.
I baked a cake iced with white stripes and ripe strawberries. One bite and my diet dreams were broken.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE:
Of course, rules are meant to be broken. So, in the words of Captain Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean, “… the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”
We are breaking bread with our guests at eight o’clock.
I put my foot in my mouth when I said, “The biscuits are like leather.”
Now look at the sentence below.
He was a dreamboat, dressed in a sharp white suit that made her shake in her dainty shoes. (I know, sounds like a steamy Mills & Boon romance!)
Some words follow the rule: dream, boat, white, made, shake, dainty, steamy, romance.
But others do NOT: suit, shoes, sounds, Boon.
Did you learn this vowel rule when you were in school? Can you think of any notable exceptions?