It is more common to find the letter “y” as a vowel than as a consonant. Typically, the letter “y” is a consonant when it is at the beginning of a word, e.g., yes, you, yard and young. If the letter “y” is located in the middle or end of the word, it is often treated as a vowel. As always, there are exceptions, e.g., lawyer, canyon & beyond.
Y as a Vowel – Long E
When the letter y is found at the end of a word, it sometimes makes the long e sound as noted in the table below.
When the letter “y” is found at the end of a word with more than one syllable, it typically makes the long /e/ sound.
Y as a Vowel – Long I
When the letter y is found at the end of a word, it can also make the long i sound as noted in the table below. We also wrote a post about Y word family which provides free worksheets.
I once read when the letter “y” is found at the end of a one syllable word, it typically makes a long /i/ sound. However, over one third of the words above have more than one syllable.
The letter y can also sound like a short i, e.g., mystic and rhythm. In addition, when a vowel precedes the letter “y”, it often makes the “y” silent, e.g. day & key.