Q:

How do you divide words into syllables?

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Quick Answer

Every syllable contains only one vowel sound. The number of vowel sounds directly corresponds to the number of syllables. One way you can divide words into syllables occurs when there are double consonants between two vowels. Divide the two consonants, such as in "cof-fee," "bor-der," "plas-tic" and "jour-ney."

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Full Answer

When there is only one consonant between two vowels, divide the word after the first vowel, such as "ba-by," "bo-nus" and "gla-cier." If dividing the syllable after the first vowel does not sound right when spoken aloud, divide the word after the syllable, such as in "rav-age," "meth-od" and "met-al." Two vowels together in a word can represent a long vowel or a diphthong, but otherwise, double vowels are separate syllables. Examples of these double vowels are "cli-ent," "po-em," "li-on" and "qui-et."

Words that end in "-ckle" or -"xle" divide at the "-le," such as in "freck-le," "ax-le" or "tick-le." Words that do not contain a "-ck" before the "-le" separate at the consonant before the "-le," such as "ap-ple" or "ta-ble." Another way to divide words is to determine the prefixes, suffixes and root words. Some common prefixes are "pre-," "re-," "anti-," "de-" and "trans-." Some common suffixes include "-ing," "-ed," "-en," "-er" and "-less."

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