Helpful Patterns for Dividing Words into Syllables

Do you usually encounter challenges dividing words into syllables? These tips could be helpful!

  1. Always divide after the prefix: For example, in the word ‘preview’, ‘pre-‘ is a prefix. So, we divide after the ‘pre’. We have pre | view
  2. Always divide before the suffix: In the word traction, for example, ‘-tion’ is a suffix. So, we divide before the ‘-tion’. We then have trac | tion
  3. When one or more consonants are followed by ‘le’, count back three and divide. For example, in the word ‘maple’, the ‘P’ is followed by ‘le’. Three count backs and place the syllable. Ma | ple
  4. When there are two consonants in the middle, you should divide the word between the consonants unless they blend into one sound such as ‘ph’ and ‘ch’. For example, in the word ‘happen’, two consonants are together. So, we divide them. We’ll have hap | pen.
  5. When one consonant appears between two vowels, it will most likely be in the same syllable as the second vowel. For example, in ‘silent’, the ‘l’ is between two vowels. So, we’ll divide before the ‘l’ and have si | lent.
  6. Divide between compound words: With the word ‘billboard’, we just divide between the two words. We have bill | board
  7. Divide before a single middle consonant sound before it is long. For example, ‘author’, has the ‘au’ long. So, we divide after it. Au | thor
  8. Divide after the middle consonant (or consonant blend like ‘ph’ or ‘sh’) when the vowel sound before it is short. For example, in ‘cabin’, the ‘A’ is short. So, divide after the ‘B’. Cab | in
  9. Divide between two vowels that don’t blend to make one sound. In the word ‘being’ for example, the ‘e’ sound and ‘i’ sound can be heard separately. So, we divide between them. Be | ing

If you keep these in mind you should be able to divide words into syllables and any word you see into the proper syllables.

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About Abdussalam Amoo

Trained to teach English at the university, I am a firm believer in seeing opportunities in adversities. I use my blog to share things I know with people all around the world while also using it to promote all I do. I believe doing this would make us all reach for greater frontiers together.

Posted on October 29, 2013, in ESL and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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