Consonants "clarify the message that the vowels carry." They quickly start, stop, or blend between vowel sounds. When pronounced, some consonants use the vocal cords ("voiced") and some do not ("non-voiced"). Learn more about "voiced" sounds.
Standard pronunciation of consonant letters are black.
Examples of voiced and non-voiced standard consonants.
Silent letters are not pronounced and shown in light grey as in the examples below.
Variation Consonants come in five different colors and can be either voiced or non-voiced.
Dark red consonants apply to letters which make the following voiced sounds when pronounced.
Light red consonants apply to letters which make the following voiced sounds when pronounced.
True blue consonants are used in the following situations.
All turquoise consonants sound like the "ch" in the word "church."
All steel blue consonants sound like the "sh" in the word "she."
The letters R and L are in a group all their own: they can function as consonants as well as vowels. Learn these two letters as both vowels and consonants and know the difference in pronunciation.
Chrometics shows the consonant letter R in black as in run, or colored purple as in drop
The consonant letter L is shown in black as in love, or colored in the mud color as in quickly
When you see Y as a black letter before a vowel sound, use the standard consonant pronunciation as in yes or you. The pronunciation is similar to a quickly said ee vowel but functions as a consonant which pushes quickly into the vowel sound that follows.
Occasionally "vowel" letters such as A, E, I or U also function as a consonant Y, as do the consonant letters J or LL. These letters will be colored green as in the examples below.
When you see a W as a black letter, use the standard consonant pronunciation as in in why, was, were, we, walk, what, etc. When you see a mud colored W, as in forward, it is only to remind you to use the standard consonant pronunciation.
Occasionally, the letters O and U are pronounced like the W, In these instances, the letter making the W sound is mud colored as in the following examples.
When a W follows a vowel, it is effectively 'silent' and will be shown in the vowel color as part of the vowel sound or as a diphthong as in the examples below.
Put your hand on your throat and say "Ahh" or the name of any letter. Try it with "Z," "D," "B," "V," "M," "N," "G," or "J." You should feel movement in your throat. The vocal folds/cords are vibrating; they are creating the "voiced sound."
Now put your hand on your throat and make the sound that the letter "S" makes. Don’t say the name of the letter – only make the sound. (Think of a hissing sound – sssssss.) You should feel nothing in your throat. The vocal folds/cords are not vibrating together (they are not ‘engaged’). This is a "non-voiced" sound. Letters such as "T," "C," "P," "H," and "K" also represent sounds that are not voiced.
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