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Unit 21. Eye, My, Mine.

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Introducing Syllables

Unit 21; Part A

We can divide a word into one or more syllables. For example mum has one syllable, mother has two syllables and grandmother has three syllables. A syllable is a group of one or more sounds. The essential part of a syllable is a vowel sound (V). Some syllables are just one vowel sound. For example, these words have one syllable, and the syllable is just one vowel sound: eye /ai/, owe/∂υ/.

A syllable can have consonant sounds (C) before the V, after the V or before and after the V. Here are some more examples (they are all words of one syllable).
CV
VC
CVC
go /g∂υ/
my /maι/
know /n∂υ/
weigh /weι       
if /ιf/
egg /eg/
ice /aιs/
eight /eιt/         
ten /ten/
nose /n∂υz/
mouth /maυθ/    
knife /naιf/
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Note: There may be more than one С before or after the V. (See Units 24, 25.)

Unit 21; Part B

Remember that letters are not the same as sounds. For example, the consonant letters W and Y are not consonant sounds if they come after the vowel sound in the syllable e.g. saw, say. They are part of the vowel sound. In some accents, for example South East English, the same is true for the consonant letter R. Here are some more examples. They are words of one syllable and they all have the pattern CV.
how /haυ/   law /lo:/   pay /peι/   why /waι/   car /ka:/   hair /he∂/

Unit 21; Part C

Some people use the word syllable to talk about the parts of a written word. But here, the word syllable is used to talk about the pronunciation of words, not the writing. For example, in writing we can divide 'chocolate' into three parts like this: cho-co-late. But when we say the word, we pronounce only two syllables, like this: chocolate /t∫ok.l∂t/. (The dot shows where the two syllables are divided.) A number of other words may be pronounced with fewer syllables than in writing. Listen to these examples.

chocolate /t∫ok.l∂t/       different /'dιf.r∂nt/       interesting /'ιn.tr∂s.tiη/      general /d3en.r∂l/       comfortable  /'кΛmf.t∂.bl/       secretary /'sek.r∂.trι/

Unit 21; Part D

The first syllable in these words has the same three sounds, but in the opposite order: kitchen /kιt∫.ιn/ - chicken /'t∫ιk.ιn/.

If a sentence has similar-sounding syllables like this in it, it may be difficult to say. These sentences are called 'tongue-twisters'. Listen to this example.

Richard checked the chicken in the kitchen.
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Exercises

flag.jpgWrite these words in the correct column.
Key.1 syl.  aunt, cook, dad
2 syl.  doctor, sister, teacher, uncle
3 syl.  grandfather, officer, passenger

 
aunt    cook    dad    doctor    grandfather    officer     passenger    sister    teacher    uncle
 

 
1 syllable       
2 syllables        
3 syllables       
   aunt

   
flag.jpgLook at these one-syllable words. Write С where there is a consonant sound. There may be one before
V, after V or in both places.

Key.1.CVC  2.VC  3.CV  4.CV  5.CCV
6.CVC  7.CV  8.CVC  9.CV  10.CVC

Examples:   
high    C  V  .
rice     C  V  C  .   
1    bought      V    
2    eyes      V   
3    key     V   
4    day     V   
5    through     V   
6    laugh      V   
7    rwo      V   
8    youth      V   
9    weigh     V   
10  rhyme     V    
flag.jpgThe spelling changes if you change the order of sounds in these one-syllable words from CV to VC. Write the missing words.
Key.1. day, aid  
2. no, own
3. pay, ape
4. tea, eat
5. may, aim
6. say, ace

Example: 
 CV
/lo:/ =   law   
VC
/o:l/ =   all  
1    /dei/ =      
2    /n∂о/ =       
3    /pel/ =       
4    /tι:/ = 
5    /meι/ = may            
6    /seι/ = 
/eιd/ = aid
/∂υn/ = own
/eιp/ = ape
/ι:t/ =   
/eιm/ = 
/eιs/
 
flag.jpgRead the text aloud. Record your voice if you can. Then listen to the recording. Did you say the same number of syllables in the underlined words as on the recording?
Key.interesting Ooo (3 syl.) restaurant Oo (2)
Wednesday Oo (2) different Oo (2)
vegetables Ooo (3) chocolate Oo (2)
general Oo (2) lovely Oo (2)

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flag.jpgListen to these tongue-twisters. How many syllables are there in each? Write the number. Then listen again and repeat.
Key.1.Walt-er walked to-wards the wait-er. (8)
2.Bett-y bought a bett-er bit of butt-er.(10)
3.The fat cat sat on the vet's wet hat.(9)

Example: She sells sea shells on the sea shore.   8 syllables  
1    Walter walked towards the waiter.
2    Betty bought a better bit of butter.
3    The fat cat sat on the vet's wet hat.
 
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