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Learn to Read with Phonics: Sight Words List

Sight words have unusual spellings. This means that the spellings go against normal phonics rules. Here is a short list of such words. There are many others, but this list can give you a general idea as to why sight words have to be recognized by "sight" and memorized.


Word

Explanation

again

first "a" sounds like "uh" and the ai sounds like a short e

any

a sounds like a short e

around

a sounds like "uh"

because

au sounds like "uh"

been

ee sounds like a short e

brother

o sounds like "uh"

buy

the uy spelling is unusual

could

ou sounds like (relaxed long U)

does

oe sounds like "uh"

from

o sounds like "uh"

give

i_e is a short I sound

have

a_e has a short A sound

live

i_e has a short I sound

many

a sounds like short e

mother

o sounds like "uh"

of

o sounds like "uh," f sounds like v

once

sounds like wuns

orange

a sounds like "uh"

people

o is silent

pull

u sounds like (relaxed long U)

put

u sounds like (relaxed long U)

some

o sounds like "uh"

the

e sounds like "uh" sometimes, sometimes long e

their

ei sounds like long A

very

e sounds almost like long A

walk

L is silent

warm

ar sounds like or

work

or sounds like er

would

ou sounds like (relaxed long U)


Notice that many sight words have an "uh" sound replacing the normal vowel sound. This is the easiest sound to make in our language (lips, tongue and jaw are in neutral positions), and so it is a natural sound-reduction. This is why you will frequently see it in common words.

* Some teachers also include common words that do not go against phonics rules in their sight word lists--this gives children a few extra memorized words to quicken the reading process. For instance, I often see the word "know" on sight word lists--however "kn" is usually an N sound and "ow" is a long O sound half the time--so this spelling is within normal phonics rules.




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