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Learn to Read with Phonics: The Silent E at the End

Here's a great phonics rule: a silent E at the end makes the vowel sound long. The purpose of the silent E is to indicate a change in the vowel before it. It works with all vowels: A, E, I, O, U. For "E," as in e_e, it is less common in small words, but can be seen in longer words like "compete." Here are some examples: Tim / time, her / here, mad / made, hop / hope, us / use.

This rule comes from the root word--that's why music (from "muse") has a long U sound. In this story, all the long vowels with silent E are in bold. There is a chart below the story with more examples.

The Elephant's Pedicure
elephant pedicure

1. This elephant is getting a pedicure.

2. Maybe there is a sore on the elephant's foot.

3. The man will use an elephant-sized nail file.

4. The elephant is very tame, but he stands in a cage.

5. If his foot hurts, he could go into a rage.

6. It takes time, and the elephant is bored.

7. Many people have gathered here.

8. They take pictures.


Answer the questions:

1. What is the elephant getting?
2. What could be on his foot?
3. What will the man use for the toenails?
4. Where does the elephant stand?
5. What might happen if his foot hurts?
6. How does the elephant feel?
7. Are there many people watching?
8. What are the people doing?

A Silent E at the End Makes the Vowel Sound Long

Short A
Long A
Short E
Long E
Short I
Long I
Short O
Long O
Short U
Long U
pass
pace
her
here
sit
site
mop
mope
cut
cute
fat
fate
pet
Pete
quit
quite
not
note
mutt
mute
rat
rate
actress
trapeze
dim
dime
jock
joke
fuss
fuse
pan
pane
them
extreme
pin
pine
Ross
Rose
duck
duke
man
mane
present
precede
fill
file
rob
robe
run
rune




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