One of the trickiest things about the English language is that vowels may sometimes look the same and make different sounds. There are even variations with short vowels. (II.b)
WATCH videos and PLAY online games to learn more at the vowels that vary tutorial at Wakelet.
Syllables that are closed are usually short, but when you fīnd and lĭft the gōld don’t get lŏst. The letters i and o followed by two consonants can be bōth – short or long.
And that is not all…did I mention that the letter a can say a short ŏ like in watch or in ball? The Sounds of A Worksheet/Word Sort is available at TeachersPayTeachers. Learn more about Short Vowel Variations.
Y at the end of a one syllable word, often says a long “I” as in fly. Learn more about Tricky Y.
We have met OO/OO, one of the diphthongs. Which might be a foot that is short, or a boot that is too long. How about OU, which can be very rough? More than six sounds can really be tough. i before e is weird too and can vary a lot. i before e, unless foreign scientist Keith leisurely seizes caffeine from feisty atheists.
More vowels that can vary are OW, EA, IE. When you eat (ē) bread (ĕ ) with a steak (ā) , EA can also say a long a, isn’t that great?
R controlled vowels can vary a lot: AR can sound like ER, as in pillar or dollar. So can OR, when you start your motor. When there is an E before AR all bets are off. It might be ER when you learn, or maybe a long e that you hear. It can even be a polar bear on a chair. Learn more about the Bossy R Schwa sound and other variations.
Last, but not least of all, is the amazing schwa. Any vowel can make this lazy “uh” sound, so watch out for schwas all around!