English uses the Roman alphabet.
The alphabet has 26 letters.
These letters can be ‘upper case‘ (big, sometimes called ‘capital letters‘) or ‘lower case‘ (small).

Of the 26 letters, 21 are consontants, and 5 are vowels.

The Alphabet

Upper caseLower caseVowels
Aavowel
Bb
Cc
Dd
Eevowel
Ff
Gg
Hh
Iivowel
Jj
Kk
Ll
Mm
Nn
Oovowel
Pp
Qq
Rr
Ss
Tt
Uuvowel
Vv
Ww
Xx
Yy*
Zz

*Sometimes y can act like a vowel.

Making words

To make words, letters are put together.
There are common combinations.

Consonant + vowel combinations

VowelConsonant + vowel
aba ca da fa ga ha ja ka la ma na pa qua ra sa ta va wa ya za
ebe de fe ge he je ke le me ne pe que re se te ve we ye ze
ibi di fi gi hi ji ki li mi ni pi qui ri si ti vi wi yi zi
obo co do fo go ho jo ko lo mo no po quo ro so to vo yo zo
ubu cu du fu gu hu ju ku lu mu nu pu ru su tu vu wu yu zu

Vowel + consonant combinations

VowelVowel + consonant
aab ac ad af ag ah aj ak al am an ap aqu ar as at av aw ax ay az
eeb ec ed ef eg eh ej ek el em en ep equ er es et ev ew ex ey ez
iib ic id if ig ij ik il im in ip iqu ir is it ix iv iz
oob oc od of og oh oj ok ol om on op oqu or os ot ov ow ox oy oz
uub uc ud ud uf ug uh uj uk ul um un up uqu ur us ut uv ux uy uz

Vowel + 2 or 3 consonants

VowelVowel + 2 or 3 consonants
aang ant any ary ast atch aty awn avy
eeng ent eny ery est etch ety ewn evy
iing int iny ist itch ity ivy
oong ont ony ory ost otch oty own ovy
uung unt uny ury ust utch uty uwn uvy

Vowel sounds

Vowel sounds are important.
They are made by:
1. vowel
2. vowel + vowel
3. vowel + consonant blend

VowelVowel combinations
aa a_e ai au ay
ee ea ee ei e_e ey
ii ia i_e igh io
oo oa o_e oo ou oy
uu u_e ui uy

Consonant clusters: initial blends

Some consonant combinations go at the start of words.
Some consonants don’t take initial blends (h, j, l, m, n, q, r, v, x, y, z)

ConsonantInitial blend
bbl br
cch chr cl cr
ddr dw
ffl fr
ggl gr
kkl kr
ppl pr
ssc sh shr sk sl sn sp spl squ st str sw
tth (long) th (short) thr tr tw
wwr

Consonant clusters: final blends

Any combination can go at the end of words.
However, some consonant combinations give strong independent sounds at the end of words.

ConsonantFinal blend
cck ct
fft
lld lf lp lt
mmp
nnd nk nt
ppt
rrn rd rk
ssk sm sp st