What Are Vowels?


What Are Vowels?

The letters A, E, I, O, and U are the called vowels. The other letters in the alphabet are called consonants.

A vowel is classified as a speech sound produced by a comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction.

A vowel sound (but not necessarily a vowel in the actual spelling) will be present in a syllable.

Click to see the vowels in this sentence:

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. [show me the vowels]




See also:

What are consonants?
What is assonance?
What is consonance?
Using an or a with consonants
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
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IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SOUND OF THE LETTER NOT THE LETTER ITSELF

Use an before a vowel sound, and use a before a consonant sound. For example:

  • She was injured in a RTA.
  • She was injured in an RTA.
The key word here is sound. A vowel can have a vowel or a consonant sound, as can a consonant. For example, the capital letter R is a consonant, but it starts with a vowel sound. (It's pronounced ar.)

Read more using an and a.