Unit 1.1



There are five vowels in English (a, e, i, o, u).


In English, vowels can be short or long. To recognise it, we focus on the letters of the syllable where the vowel appears,

  • if there is a consonant before the vowel, the vowel will be long because there syllable remains open:
    Consonant + Vowel = Open syllable → Long vowel
  • if the vowel is before the consonant, it will be a short vowel because the vowel cannot expand anymore:
    Vowel + Consonant = Closed syllable → Short vowel

We can also say that when the vowel “says its name” means that the vowel is long, that is, the sound of the vowel is the same as we call the letter in the alphabet.

The vowels are:

Uppercase Lowercase Short vowel Long vowel
A a /æ/ /eɪ/
E e /e/ /i:/
I i /ɪ/ /aɪ/
O o /ɒ/ /oʊ/
U u /ʌ/ /uː/ or /ju:/



A: cat, pane
E: bed, Peter
I: drinktime
O: golf, open
U: run, mute

  • The first word has the short vowel sound and the other one is using the long vowel sound.



External link to Vowels exercises (1151).