Have you heard this rhyme?

When two vowels go walking the first one does the talking, it says its name.

Embed from Getty Images Who’s talking?

So when we see a word like boat, tea, rain, tie we know that the two vowels make one sound and that sound is the name of the first vowel. Try it; sound out the word

  • boat – B. Oh T.
  • Tea – T. ee
  • Rain – R. Ay N
  • Tie – T. eye

You try:

  • peach
  • coat
  • toe
  • green
  • plain
  • goes

Super, want to try some more? Be careful!

  • steak
  • eight
  • early
  • chair
  • good

Listen to the words – how do the vowels sound in these words? Actually here they are not saying their name. In steak – EA sound like letter A, so does EI in eight. EA in early sounds like ur, AI in chair sound like air, OO in good sounds like uh.

So when two vowels go walking, the first sometimes does the talking, but not always!

Let’s take EA. The most common sound is a long /e/ but not always, as we’ve seen with steak and early.

Here are some of the sounds of EA, with guide words.

Like Green long /e/ Like Egg short /e/ Like Ear Like Hair Like Train Like Bird Like Car
easy, bean, peach, please, beach, read, sea dead, head, leather, feather, spread fear, appear, idea, theatre swear, bear, pear break, steak early, heard heart

Listen to the words and practice.

Try the Quiz -How does EA sound?

Can you think of more words with EA in, how do they sound?

One thought on “Picking apart EA words

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