What is a heteronym?

Heteronyms are confusing. These words are spelled the same but are pronounced differently.  Depending on the pronuncitation, they have different meanings.  That is why it is so important to LISTEN to the pronunciation instead of relying on reading. Here are some examples: Close: Pronounced CLOZ means to shut. Pronounced CLOS means near. Bass: Pronounced BASE means an instrument. Pronounced BAS means the fish.

Homographs: different meaning and different pronunciation

Homographs are words that have the same spelling, but the meaning and pronunciations are different.  These are VERY difficult for most ESL speakers. For example: CLOSE Close (pronounced CLOZ) the door. Don’t stand so close (pronounced CLOS) to me. PROJECT The project (pronounced praw ject) is difficult. Please project (pronounced pro ject) your voice.

Homonyms: same sound, different meaning

Homonyms are words that are spelled and sound the same.  They confuse people because they have different meanings. Watch is a common homonym.  It can mean “to look” or a “clock”. Andrea wants to watch TV. My watch says it is 7:00. Get more homonyms here.

Long vowel sounds: Silernt E Rule

To determine if the vowel is long when you are reading, look for the silent “e”.  When a word ends in an e, the vowel before it is pronounced long.  For example: A:  short a…cap   long a with the silent “e” rule…cape E:  short e…pet   long e with the silent “e” rule…Pete I:  short i…pin   long i with the silent “e” rule…pine O:  short o…not   long o with the silent “e” rule…note U:  short u…cut   long a with the silent “e” rule…cute

Diagraphs: Two Letters that Make One Sound

A digraph is term used to describe two or more letters that make one sound.  Here are some common digraphs: CH:  pronounced “ch” in cheese, inches, church SH:  pronounced “sh” in shoe, mission, wish WH:  pronounced “w” in when, where, why TH:  pronounced “th” in this, weather, with PH:  pronounced “f” in photo, hyphen, autograph TCH:  pronounced “ch: in itch, catch, stretch WR:  pronounced “r”:  write, wrong, wrench

How do I pronounce the letters QU?

The letters QU are used together in many words.  Pronounce this two letter combination as KW.  This is the case in words like quit, queen, quiz, query, quick, quarter, and question. As always, there is an exception.  QU can be pronounced K like in the word conquer.  

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