The Open Syllable
That Helps You To Spell

An open syllable is simply a syllable that ends in a long vowel. (That means the vowel says its name just as you sing it in the alphabet song.)

Here are some words with this type of syllable …

she  he   me   be   go  no  so 

These words are just one syllable long. By looking at them you can see that they are open. There are no consonants closing them off and stopping their long vowel sound.

Closed syllables are another type of syllable. To find out more click on  closed syllable.

Words With More Than One Syllable Often Contain an Open Syllable

Now let’s take a look at words with more than one syllable. Many of them contain a syllable that is open.

Here are some examples. The syllables we are talking about are highlighted.

2 Syllable Words                             

o/pen   be/hind   men/u    pa/per   fa/mous

3 Syllable Words                             

u/niverse       i/conic        en/a/ble   arg/u/ment

Notice there are no consonants following  the long vowel in the open syllables above.  

In the word “open” the letter o says its name. Nothing follows it within that syllable.  The next letter (p) in the word is a consonant but it is starting a completely new syllable.

HINT: If you are trying to think of an example of an open syllable just think of the word  “open”  and the open vowel  "o" at the beginning of the word.

So why is this important?

Knowing this helps us with spelling and reading. Often we do not know whether or not to double consonants like 

   d, f, g, l, m, n, p, r, s, t     

TIP: If the syllable is an open one, do not double the consonant.


Correct Spelling 

fi / nal                                 

la / ter

wri / ting

lu / nar

ti / ger

fa / mous

Incorrect Spelling







It doesn't matter whether or not we are trying to spell or read.  By learning about open syllables we can tackle both. If we do not know how to pronounce a word, understanding this type of syllable will help. If we do know how to pronounce it we will be much more likely to spell it correctly.

Go From Open Syllable to Teaching Phonics

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