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Open Syllable

An open syllable occurs when a vowel is at the end of the syllable, resulting in the long vowel sound, e.g. pa/per, e/ven, o/pen, go & we. Open syllable words are open because they are not closed by a consonant.

open-syllableWhereas a closed syllable occurs when a syllable ends with a consonant, resulting in a short vowel sound, e.g., cat, sit, got & wet. The consonant closes these words. Closed syllable words are more prevalent in the English language.

The table below illustrates the open and closed syllable concept.

Open Syllable
(Long Vowel Sound)
Closed Syllable
(Short Vowel Sound)
be
bed
go
got
he
hen
hi
hip
I
it
me
men
no
not
she
shell
we
web

Open Syllable Words

The table below contains over 150 open syllable words. We also provide the syllabication for each word to emphasize the open syllable concept. The table also indicates each word’s long vowel sound as well as the location of the open syllable – beginning (initial), middle (medial) or ending (final) of a word.

Open Syllable Word
Syllabication
Long Vowel
Useage
ableableLong-Ainitial
acheacheLong-Ainitial
acornacornLong-Ainitial
acreacreLong-Ainitial
agentagentLong-Ainitial
agoagoLong-Ofinal
alsoal/soLong-Ofinal
apexapexLong-Ainitial
apricotapri/cotLong-Ainitial
AprilAprilLong-Ainitial
apronapronLong-Ainitial
areaar/eaLong-Emedial
AsiaAsiaLong-Ainitial
autoau/toLong-Ofinal
babyba/byLong-Amedial
basicba/sicLong-Amedial
basisba/sisLong-Amedial
bebeLong-Efinal
beautifulbeau/ti/fulLong-Umedial
beingbe/ingLong-Emedial
bicyclebi/cy/cleLong-Imedial
brokenbro/kenLong-Omedial
buglebu/gleLong-Umedial
cargocar/goLong-Ofinal
cedarce/darLong-Emedial
ChinaChi/naLong-Imedial
climatecli/mateLong-Imedial
communicatecom/mu/ni/cateLong-Umedial
communitycom/mu/ni/tyLong-Umedial
continuouscon/tin/u/ousLong-Umedial
crazycra/zyLong-Amedial
cubiccu/bicLong-Umedial
demonde/monLong-Emedial
depotde/potLong-Emedial
diagramdi/a/gramLong-Imedial
dinosaurdi/no/saurLong-Imedial
echoechoLong-Ofinal
eclipseeclipseLong-Einitial
ecologyecologyLong-Einitial
edictedictLong-Einitial
EgyptianEgyp/tianLong-Einitial
e-maile-mailLong-Einitial
emissionemis/sionLong-Einitial
emitemitLong-Einitial
enunciateenun/ci/ateLong-Einitial
equalequalLong-Einitial
equatore/qua/torLong-Amedial
equatore/qua/torLong-Einitial
equinoxequi/noxLong-Einitial
etheretherLong-Einitial
evenevenLong-Einitial
eveningeve/ningLong-Einitial
evilevilLong-Einitial
femalefe/maleLong-Emedial
flavorfla/vorLong-Amedial
fuelfu/elLong-Umedial
fugitivefu/gi/tiveLong-Umedial
funeralfu/ner/alLong-Umedial
futurefu/tureLong-Umedial
giantgi/antLong-Imedial
gogoLong-Ofinal
gravygra/vyLong-Amedial
hazyha/zyLong-Amedial
heheLong-Efinal
hellohel/loLong-Ofinal
herohe/roLong-Ofinal
humanhu/manLong-Umedial
humidhu/midLong-Umedial
humorhu/morLong-Umedial
IILong-Iinitial
icyicyLong-Iinitial
ideaideaLong-Iinitial
iodineio/dineLong-Iinitial
IowaIowaLong-Iinitial
irisirisLong-Iinitial
IrishIrishLong-Iinitial
itemitemLong-Iinitial
ivoryivo/ryLong-Iinitial
JanuaryJan/u/aryLong-Umedial
labella/belLong-Amedial
laborla/borLong-Amedial
ladlela/dleLong-Amedial
ladyla/dyLong-Amedial
lazyla/zyLong-Amedial
legalle/galLong-Emedial
lionli/onLong-Imedial
maybemay/beLong-Efinal
memeLong-Efinal
menumenuLong-Ufinal
meterme/terLong-Emedial
momentmo/mentLong-Omedial
museummu/se/umLong-Emedial
museummu/se/umLong-Umedial
musicmu/sicLong-Umedial
musicianmu/si/cianLong-Umedial
navyna/vyLong-Amedial
nonoLong-Ofinal
obeyobeyLong-Oinitial
oboeoboeLong-Oinitial
oceanoceanLong-Oinitial
OctoberOc/to/berLong-Omedial
odorodorLong-Oinitial
OhioOhioLong-Oinitial
okraokraLong-Oinitial
openopenLong-Oinitial
overoverLong-Oinitial
paperpa/perLong-Amedial
pianopi/a/noLong-Ofinal
pilotpi/lotLong-Imedial
poempo/emLong-Omedial
potatopo/ta/toLong-Amedial
potatopo/ta/toLong-Ofinal
prefixpre/fixLong-Emedial
programpro/gramLong-Omedial
punypu/nyLong-Umedial
pupilpu/pilLong-Umedial
quietqui/etLong-Imedial
radiora/dioLong-Amedial
radiora/dioLong-Ofinal
reactre/actLong-Emedial
reallyre/al/lyLong-Emedial
recentre/centLong-Emedial
recyclere/cy/cleLong-Emedial
relationre/la/tionLong-Amedial
rifleri/fleLong-Imedial
RomanRo/manLong-Omedial
secretse/cretLong-Emedial
shesheLong-Efinal
silentsi/lentLong-Imedial
sosoLong-Ofinal
spiderspi/derLong-Imedial
stationsta/tionLong-Amedial
tableta/bleLong-Amedial
tinyti/nyLong-Imedial
titleti/tleLong-Imedial
tomatoto/ma/toLong-Amedial
tomatoto/ma/toLong-Ofinal
totalto/talLong-Omedial
triangletri/an/gleLong-Imedial
uniformuni/formLong-Uinitial
unifyuni/fyLong-Uinitial
uniqueuniqueLong-Uinitial
unitunitLong-Uinitial
unitedunitedLong-Uinitial
universeuni/verseLong-Uinitial
universityuni/ver/si/tyLong-Uinitial
unusualun/usu/alLong-Umedial
usualusu/alLong-Uinitial
UtahUtahLong-Uinitial
utilizeuti/lizeLong-Uinitial
vacationva/ca/tionLong-Amedial
valuablevalu/ableLong-Umedial
vaporva/porLong-Amedial
varietyva/ri/e/tyLong-Imedial
vibrationvi/bra/tionLong-Amedial
vibrationvi/bra/tionLong-Imedial
volcanovol/ca/noLong-Amedial
volcanovol/ca/noLong-Ofinal
weweLong-Efinal
zebraze/braLong-Emedial
zeroze/roLong-Ofinal

Source: Fry, E.B., Ph.D. & Kress, J.E., Ed.D. (2006). The Reading
Teacher’s Book of Lists 5th Edition.
San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass

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