You"ve heard the the English vowels space A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. Yet when is Y a vowel, and also when is that a consonant? Keep analysis for an easy guide to identify when Y is working as the collection in a word, and also when it"s not.

You are watching: Words that use y as a vowel


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Words wherein Y is a Vowel

Even though "y" is technically a consonant, there space many an ext instances in i beg your pardon it functions as a vowel. You"ll listen it work-related as a lengthy /e/ sound (as in city or party), quick /i/ sound (as in cyst or symbol) or lengthy /i/ sound (as in fly or shy) depending on the native it"s in. The can also be component of a collection team.

The easy means to psychic is this:

If the "y" isn"t in ~ the beginning of words or beginning of a syllable, it"s functioning as a vowel.

Take a look in ~ the different times once "y" features as a vowel.


When There are No various other Vowels

Every English word contains a vowel. If there space no other vowels in a word, "y" take away on a collection sound. Native that include only "y" and also no other vowels are:

bycrycrypt
cystdryfly
frygymhymn
lynchmymyth
nymphplypry
psychpygmyrhythm
shyshylysky
slyslylyspry
spysynctry
trystwhywry

Notice that in a couple of of this words, "y" appears much more than once to do two various sounds. In pygmy, for example, "y" features as a short /i/ sound and as a lengthy /e/ sound (pig-mee).


When Y adheres to the last Consonant of a Word

English indigenous can"t end in the letter "i." That"s why you"ll often discover "y" at the end of a indigenous after a consonant. Instances of "y" in ~ the finish of a native include:

agonyallergyangry
anyapplyarmy
babybeautybury
chewycitycozy
denydewyduty
easyfoxylazy
onlypartypony
prettystarrysunny
tinytrophytotally
uglywaryworthy

"Y" usually functions as a long /e/ sound (as in pretty), though occasionally you"ll find it functioning as a long /i/ sound (as in deny). At any time you produce an adjective by including a "y" come a noun, you"re making use of "y" together a vowel. The same uses to including -ly to a verb when forming an adverb.


When Y complies with the Last vowel of a Word

Many English words finish in a diphthong, such as -ay, -ey and -oy. In these cases, "y" follows the last collection of the word. Right here are part words that finish in a vowel and also "y":

alleyannoyanyway
arraybaybetray
boyclaydecay
donkeyemployenjoy
essaygooeyguy
hayhoneyjockey
keykidneyokay
maymedleymoney
monkeyspraystay
surveytodayway

When you watch that a indigenous ends v a vowel and "y," girlfriend don"t readjust the spelling come make the word plural. Because that example, monkey becomes monkeys, not monkies.


When Y Is at the finish of a Syllable

You can likewise find "y" functioning as a vowel once it"s in ~ the finish of a syllable. These syllables can make up any component of the word, therefore the "y" may show up anywhere. Right here are some words whereby "y" is uncovered at the end of a beginning or center syllable:

bicyclecycledynamic
Egypthybridhyena
hygienehyphenlayer
loyallyingoxygen
prayerpsychologypython
royaltyphoontyrant

Most, if not all, that the words the follow this pattern have actually Greek origins. Take keep in mind of words prefer prayer, as the "y" still features as a vowel even when you add a suffix choose -er.


When Y Is in the middle of a Syllable

The last means you"ll uncover "y" function as a vowel is in the middle of a syllable. The word syllable is an instance of this rule; once you break it into syl-la-ble, you"ll see the "y" is working as a quick /i/ sound. More examples include:

abyssanalyzeanonymous
crystalcynicdye
eyegoodbyehype
lyemartyrmystery
paralyzephysicsrhyme
stylesymphonysystem
thymetypetypical

All of these words usage "y" as either a quick /i/ or long /i/ sound. As soon as you start noticing these specific "y" words, you"ll uncover them everywhere you look!


Words whereby Y Is a Consonant

Now that you understand when "y" is a vowel, as soon as is it actually a consonant? over there are only two instances when you use "y" together a consonant: as soon as it begins a word, and also when it starts a syllable.


When Y Is the first Letter in a Word

If a word begins with "y," it"s utilizing the /y/ consonant sound. While there aren"t too countless words that begin with "y," there are enough to know the rule. Take a look at some typical words that use "y" as their initial sound:

yakyardyarn
yawnyeahyear
yellyellowyes
youyouryoung

Many words that begin with "u," such as union and use, start with a /y/ sound. But they don"t actually include the letter itself.


When Y is the an initial Letter in a Syllable

The other means to use "y" as a consonant is once it begins the 2nd or third syllable in a word. Instances of this words include:

backyardbeyondcanyon
coyotekayaklawyer
papayateriyakiyo-yo

You may observe that these native are originally from other languages, including Japanese and also Spanish. Over there aren"t plenty of words the English beginning that include a "y" as the an initial letter in a syllable.

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Take the Why out of Y

"Y" is one of the most versatile letter in the English language. However now that you recognize its pronunciation rules, it doesn"t need to be confusing! store your phonics knowledge fresh with these examples of indigenous families. If you"re all set to move on, practice these typical digraphs in the English language.