rules on syllable devision

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What are the correct rules how to devide a word into syllables?


Aug 25, 2007
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English Teacher
Dividing Syllables Rules

  1. Look for words and parts of words your recognize (-ing, -ment, pre-, dis-). These are called suffixes and prefixes. Separate these parts you recognize by drawing a slash between them and the rest of the word. (i.e., pre/par/ing) Try to learn as many suffixes and prefixes as you can.
  2. Most syllables start with a consonant. (i.e., trum/pet, pa/per)
  3. Divide between double letters. (i.e., waf/fle, kis/sing)
  4. Try to keep consonant blends together (tr, st, pl, etc.). Remember that consonant blends can be separated, but that usually they are strong enough to stay together. (i.e., un/der/stand/ing).
  5. Divide the word between consonants that are not consonant blends. (i.e., hun/dred)
  6. Usually no more than two consonants go together, except spr, str, and a few others. (i.e., hundred -ndr needs to be divided, thus, hun/dred.)
  7. Divide vowels that are not part of pairs you know. Vowels that usually stay together include: ea, oa, ai, ou, ow, au, aw, oy, oi (i.e., mai/den, pow/er. Remember that if the vowels are not in this order, you probably need to separate them (i.e., pi/an/o, di/ode, mu/se/um).
  8. -le at the end of a word says "ul". And when you are dividing a word into syllables, the -le acts like a magnet and drags the consonant in front of it into the syllable (i.e., waf/fle, sim/ple).
  9. Don't forget what the vowels + r say: car, for, her, sir, fur! (Unless there is a silent (magic) e after the r, then the vowel will say its name: care, more, here, sire, cure) ;-)
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