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How to Read R Controlled Vowel Words

Hello.

My name is Grace.

Welcome to Learn to Read R-Controlled Vowel Words.

The English language has some tricky spellings of words.

If the spelling is tricky, it also makes reading the words tricky.

In this video you'll learn tricks for reading words with the letter, R.

The consonant letter, R, changes the sound of vowels that come before it.

For example, words like, "her," "car," and "work," all have a letter, R,

that controls the sound of the vowel before it.

If we were to read this first word based on what we know about the vowel and consonant sounds,

this word would read like, /hɛər/ but this "E-R" sound is actually, /ɜr/.

And, we say, /hɜr/.

If we were to read this word based on what we know about letter sounds,

this word would read, /cær/

But, this "A-R" sound is actually, /ar/, and this word is pronounced, /car/.

And, if we were to read this word based on what we know about the rules of phonics,

this word would read, /wɒrk/

But, this "O-R" sound is actually, /ɜr/, and we say, /wɜrk/.

Why do the vowels change to these new sounds?

It's because the letter, R, is a very bossy letter.

Let's look at how bossy it is in some other examples.

Whenever the letter, R, has an E in front of it,

the combination of these letters makes the /ɜr/ sound.

Here are some examples of the /ɜr/ sound at the end of the word.

"Paper,"

"Mother,"

"Father."

And, here is that /ɜr/ sound in the middle of the word.

"Germ,"

"Concert,"

"Person."

See how the letter, R, controls the sound of the vowel before it?

I told you.

It's a bossy letter.

Whenever the letter, R, has an I in front of it,

the combination of these letters also makes the /ɜr/ sound.

These are some words with the /ɜr/ sound, spelled with I-R.

"First,"

"Bird,"

"Shirt."

Whenever the letter, R, has an O in front of it,

the combination of the letters also makes the /ɜr/ sound.

Here are some examples where O-R makes the /ɜr/ sound.

"Word,"

"Mirror,"

"Sailor."

But, be careful.

This is a tricky one.

O-R also makes the /ɔr/ sound, like in the words,

"Corn,"

"Fork,"

"Horse."

How will you know which sound is correct in each word?

With reading practice, you'll begin to know words better,

and you will automatically know which sound is correct.

Also, when you read the word within a sentence,

the rest of the sentence gives you clues about the word.

And, you can always check the pronunciation key in a dictionary to be sure.

Wherever the letter, R, as a U in front of it,

the combination of these letters also makes the /ɜr/ sound.

Listen to the /ɜr/ sound these U-R words make.

"Turn,"

"Purse,"

"Hurt."

Even this combination of letters: E-A-R makes the /ɜr/ sound at times.

You will see this sound in words like,

"Heard,"

"Earth,"

"Learn."

This is another tricky combination of letters.

Sometimes E-A-R makes the /ɪər/ sound, like in the words,

"Ear,"

"Clear,"

"Dear."

And, sometimes E-A-R sounds like /ɛər/, like in the words,

"Bear,"

"Pear,"

"Wear."

We did say that the English language is tricky, didn't we?

The combination of letters, O-U-R also makes the /ɜr/ sound.

The words "parlour,"

"journey,"

and "hour" have the /ɜr/ sound,

and are spelled O-U-R.

Here's another sound that is created when the letter, R, has a letter, A, in front of it.

The sound is /ɑr/.

Some words with this /ɑr/ sound are:

"Jar,"

"Star,"

"Farm,"

"Large."

Words are a lot of fun to read when we know the rules.

I am sure you will now be able to read many more words because you know about the bossy R.

Look for the R rule in words found in books you read.

Remember, you can keep practicing reading with our fun online games and quizzes.

Until next time, always be cleverrrr!