Digraphs In English

How Many Digraphs In English

Have you ever wondered why certain words in English sound so right when spoken out loud? The answer lies within a special group of letter combinations known as digraphs. These twins of the alphabet work together harmoniously to produce sounds that can’t be achieved with single letters alone.

Digraphs In English

Today, we embark on an exciting journey through the realm of English digraphs – those magical pairings like ‘th’, ‘ch,’ and ‘ai.’ Join us as we unravel how many different digraphs exist in English, reveal lists of both consonant and vowel examples, and dive into their remarkable impact on our language’s pronunciation. Prepare to have your linguistic curiosity satisfied!

List Of All Digraphs

Here is a list of common consonant and vowel digraphs:

Consonant Digraphs:

  1. bl
  2. br
  3. ch
  4. CK
  5. cl
  6. cr
  7. dr
  8. fl
  9. fr
  10. gh
  11. gl
  12. gr
  13. ng
  14. ph
  15. pl
  16. pr
  17. qu
  18. sc
  19. sh
  20. SK
  21. sl
  22. sm
  23. sn
  24. sp
  25. st
  26. sw
  27. th
  28. tr
  29. tw
  30. wh
  31. wr

Vowel Digraphs (that produce distinct vowel sounds):

  1. ai (as in “mail”)
  2. au (as in “author”)
  3. aw (as in “saw”)
  4. ay (as in “play”)
  5. ea (as in “eat”)
  6. ee (as in “tree”)
  7. ei (as in “ceiling”)
  8. EU (as in “feud”)
  9. ew (as in “new”)
  10. ey (as in “key”)
  11. ie (as in “pie”)
  12. oi (as in “oil”)
  13. oo (as in “book”)
  14. ou (as in “out”)
  15. ow (as in “cow”)
  16. oy (as in “boy”).

These digraphs are important for understanding the pronunciation and spelling of words in the English language. If you have any questions or need further clarification on any of them, feel free to ask!

List Of Consonant Digraphs

Here’s a more detailed list of common consonant digraphs, along with examples for each:

bl (as in “blow”)

  • Examples: black, blue, blender

br (as in “brown”)

  • Examples: bread, bridge, brush

ch (as in “chair”)

  • Examples: chat, cheese, church

ck (as in “check”)

  • Examples: duck, pack, sock

cl (as in “clap”)

  • Examples: clap, class, cloud

cr (as in “crash”)

  • Examples: crab, cry, crown

dr (as in “drive”)

  • Examples: drink, drum, dress

fl (as in “flame”)

  • Examples: flag, fly, flower

fr (as in “frog”)

  • Examples: fruit, free, friend

gh (as in “ghost”)

  • Examples: ghost, ghetto, high

gl (as in “glass”)

  • Examples: glad, glue, globe

gr (as in “green”)

  • Examples: grass, great, grill

ng (as in “sing”)

  • Examples: song, long, hang

ph (as in “phone”)

  • Examples: phone, alphabet, photograph

pl (as in “plane”)

  • Examples: play, planet, plus

pr (as in “prize”)

  • Examples: prize, proud, primary

qu (as in “quick”)

  • Examples: queen, quiet, quiz

sc (as in “school”)

  • Examples: school, scarf, scissors

sh (as in “shoe”)

  • Examples: ship, shoe, shore

sk (as in “ski”)

  • Examples: sky, skill, skip

sl (as in “slide”)

  • Examples: slide, sleep, slow

sm (as in “small”)

  • Examples: smart, smile, smell

sn (as in “snack”)

  • Examples: snack, snow, snake

sp (as in “spoon”)

  • Examples: spoon, spell, spider

st (as in “star”)

  • Examples: star, stand, stop

SW (as in “swim”)

  • Examples: swim, swing, switch

th (as in “think”)

  • Examples: think, thick, this

tr (as in “tree”)

  • Examples: tree, train, trip

tw (as in “twist”)

  • Examples: twist, twin, twelve

wh (as in “whale”)

  • Examples: whale, wheat, when

wr (as in “write”)

  • Examples: write, wrist, wrong

Consonant digraphs are pairs of consonants that together represent a single sound in words. These digraphs are important for pronunciation and spelling rules in English. Feel free to explore these examples to improve your understanding of how they work in words!

List Of Vowel Digraphs

Here’s a list of common vowel digraphs in English, along with examples for each:

ai (as in “rain”)

  • Examples: rain, mail, snail

au (as in “auto”)

  • Examples: auto, author, autumn

aw (as in “saw”)

  • Examples: saw, draw, paw

ay (as in “day”)

  • Examples: day, pay, say

ea (as in “team”)

  • Examples: team, dream, beach

ee (as in “tree”)

  • Examples: tree, see, feel

ei (as in “eight”)

  • Examples: eight, neighbor, freight

EU (as in “feud”)

  • Examples: feud, neutral, pseudonym

ew (as in “new”)

  • Examples: new, few, crew

ey (as in “key”)

  • Examples: key, monkey, turkey

ie (as in “pie”)

  • Examples: pie, die, tie

oi (as in “coin”)

  • Examples: coin, join, voice

oo (as in “book”)

  • Examples: book, look, shook

ou (as in “out”)

  • Examples: out, loud, south

ow (as in “cow”)

  • Examples: cow, now, brown

oy (as in “boy”)

  • Examples: boy, toy, enjoy

Vowel digraphs consist of two vowels that together represent a single vowel sound in words. These digraphs are important for understanding pronunciation and spelling in English. Explore these examples to enhance your knowledge of how they appear in words!

How Many Vowel Digraphs Are There In English

There are several vowel digraphs in English, and the exact count may vary depending on regional accents and specific dialects. However, there are around 16 commonly recognized vowel digraphs in standard American English:

  1. ai (as in “rain”)
  2. au (as in “auto”)
  3. aw (as in “saw”)
  4. ay (as in “day”)
  5. ea (as in “team”)
  6. ee (as in “tree”)
  7. ei (as in “eight”)
  8. EU (as in “feud”)
  9. ew (as in “new”)
  10. ey (as in “key”)
  11. ie (as in “pie”)
  12. oi (as in “coin”)
  13. oo (as in “book”)
  14. ou (as in “out”)
  15. ow (as in “cow”)
  16. oy (as in “boy”)

These vowel digraphs are essential for understanding English pronunciation and spelling rules. While there may be variations and exceptions, these 16 digraphs cover the most common vowel combinations in the language.

How Many Consonant Digraphs Are There

There are many consonant digraphs in English, and the total count can vary depending on the specific accent or dialect. However, there are numerous common consonant digraphs used in standard American English. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. bl (as in “blue”)
  2. br (as in “brown”)
  3. ch (as in “chat”)
  4. ck (as in “duck”)
  5. cl (as in “clam”)
  6. cr (as in “crab”)
  7. dr (as in “dream”)
  8. fl (as in “flower”)
  9. fr (as in “frog”)
  10. gh (as in “ghost”)
  11. gl ( as in “glow”)
  12. gr (as in “green”)
  13. ng (as in “song”)
  14. ph (as in “phone”)
  15. pl (as in “play”)
  16. pr (as in “prize”)
  17. qu (as in “quick”)
  18. sc (as in “scissors”)
  19. sh (as in “shoe”)
  20. sk (as in “skate”)
  21. sl (as in “slip”)
  22. sm (as in “small”)
  23. sn (as in “snack”)
  24. sp (as in “spoon”)
  25. st (as in “star”)
  26. SW (as in “swim”)
  27. th (as in “think”)
  28. tr (as in “tree”)
  29. tw (as in “twin”)
  30. wh (as in “whale”)
  31. wr (as in “write”)

These consonant digraphs consist of two consonant letters that together represent a single consonant sound in words. The count may vary slightly depending on the specific phonetic analysis, but these are the most common consonant digraphs used in English.

Conclusion Points 

In summary, the English language possesses a considerable abundance of digraphs, which are characterized by the amalgamation of two distinct letters functioning as a unified representation of a singular phonetic unit. 

The list of all digraphs includes both consonant and vowel digraphs. Consonant digraphs consist of pairs such as ch, sh, and th, while vowel digraphs include combinations like ai, ee, and oa.

It is interesting to note that there are more vowel digraphs than consonant ones in English. However, both types play an essential role in shaping the pronunciation and spelling of words.

Whether you are learning or teaching English, understanding these digraphs can greatly enhance your language skills and contribute to accurate communication. So, let’s delve deeper into


1. How many digraphs are there in English?

There are 47 common digraphs in English: sh, ch, th, ph, ng, wh, ck, kn, wr, gh, qu, and gu.

2. Can you provide a list of all the digraphs in English?

The complete list of digraphs in English includes ai, au, aw, ay, ea (long e sound), ee (long e sound), ei (long i sound), ew (long u sound), ey (long e or long i sound), i.e. (long i sound), oi (oy sound), oo (short oo or long oo sound), ou (ow sound), ow (ou sound), oy (oi sound).

3. Is there a specific list of consonant digraphs?

Yes! The most common consonant digraphs in English are ch, sh, th (voiced and voiceless sounds), ph, and ng.

4. What about vowel digraphs? Is there a separate list for those?

Certainly! Common vowel digraphs include ai (rain), au (haul), aw (paw), ay (day), ee/ea/ie,/i-e/y/ey/ei/eigh/y/ey/eigh/ea(e) [various long ee sounds], ew/u-e/u(y) [various long u sounds], oi/oy [oi or oy sounds], oo/ue/ui(u)/u-e(o)/ew(oo) [various short or long oo sounds], ou(ow)/ow(ou)/ough/o(y) [ow or o sounds].

5. How many vowel digraphs can be found in English?

There are approximately 16 common vowel digraph combinations used in the English language.

6. What is the difference between vowels and consonants when it comes to digraphs?

Vowels represent speech sounds that are produced with an open vocal tract, while consonants represent speech sounds produced by at least a partial obstruction of the vocal tract. Digraphs can be found in both vowel and consonant combinations.

7. Do all languages use digraphs?

No, not all languages use digraphs. Some languages have different ways of representing certain sounds or combinations of letters.

8. Are digraphs important to learn when studying English?

Yes, understanding and recognizing digraphs is essential for reading and spelling in English. Knowing the common digraph patterns can improve pronunciation and help avoid confusion with similar-looking words.

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