AXE is an example of a word where the vowel before the consonant does not say its name and instead makes a short vowel sound. In this case, the vowel “A” in AXE does not say its long name (/ā/), but rather makes a short vowel sound (/ă/).
When we talk about short vowels, we are referring to the pronunciation of the vowel sound in a word. In English, we have both long and short vowel sounds. Long vowel sounds are typically heard when a vowel is followed by a silent “e” at the end of a word, such as in the word “cake” where the “a” says its long name (/ā/). However, when a vowel comes before a consonant, as in the word AXE, the vowel usually makes a short sound instead.
The short A sound (/ă/) is commonly found in words like “cat” and “axe.” In these words, the vowel “A” does not say its long name (/ā/), but rather makes a short sound. The short E sound (/ĕ/) is also another example of a vowel making a short sound when it comes before a consonant. Words such as “net” and “elf” demonstrate this short E sound.
Understanding the distinction between short and long vowel sounds is important for reading and spelling. Knowing that the vowel in AXE makes a short sound helps us correctly pronounce and spell words that contain similar vowel-consonant patterns.
When a vowel comes before a consonant, it usually does not say its name and instead makes a short vowel sound. The word AXE is an example of this, where the vowel “A” makes the short A sound (/ă/). Similarly, the short E sound (/ĕ/) is seen in words like “net” and “elf.”