Magic E Syllables - The Reading and Spelling Rules That Nobody Taught You

Magic E Syllables

We are back with our second syllable type in our series of The Reading & Spelling Rules Nobody Ever Taught You. Our second syllable type is…

VCE Syllables or Vowel Consonant E Syllables

Perhaps, if I told you it was also called the Magic E Syllable, it would sound familiar?

Most of us were taught about the Magic E. We learned that if there is a letter E at the end of a one syllable word, the E either jumps back or sprinkles it’s magic back onto the medial vowel. This makes the vowel say it’s name or long sound. If you want to read more about VCE or Magic E, click here!

For example, let’s start by building a closed syllable, “hop”. Closed syllables always have one vowel closed in by a consonant and the vowel is stuck, making it’s short sound. However, if we add a Magic E at the end of the word it can jump over the one consonant to make the vowel say it’s name or long sound. The E says nothing. In this case, “hop” would become “hope”.

This isn’t the only cool thing about the Magic E! Did you know that when an S gets stuck between two vowels it says /z/!? This is very common in VCE words.

Check out these words: close, rise, those, these, vise muse, use, wise….all Magic E words, but they also have an S trapped between two vowels so you hear a /z/ sound in each of these words! How crazy is that!?

Here’s another favorite of mine: No English word ends in the letter V, we need an E to hold it up. Sometimes the E still jumps over to make the vowel long and sometimes it uses all of its power to hold up V, so the vowel stays short.

Here are some words that end in the V sound, but not the letter V: save, shave, chive, brave, live, give and have. Notice how some of the vowels are long and some of the vowels remain short.

You will also see endings like -ove. Here, the O gets lazy and makes what we call the SCHWA sound. Listen to these words that end in an E and have a lazy vowel or schwa sound: Love, dove, glove, above, shove.

Next week we will be back to talk about Bossy R Syllables!

Kelly HooverComment