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ALPHABET : Letters : Vowels : What are Consonants? : Pronunciation : Words and Syllables

The English Alphabet—
What are Consonants?

English AlphabetConsonants are letters that we cannot perfectly sound without the aid of a vowel. The consonants in the English language are b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z, and sometimes e, i, u, w, and y. We can divide consonants into two classes, Mutes and Semivowels.

The Mutes are those consonants that emit no sound without the aid of a vowel. They are b, d, k, p, q, t, and e and g hard.

NOTE—The u is canceled in this hook when qu is sounded like k.

The Semivowels are those consonants that can be sounded imperfectly by themselves. They are f, h, j, l, m, n, r, s, v, x, z, and c and g soft.

Four of the semivowels are called Liquids; eg., l, m, n, and r. We refer to them as "liquids" because they unite fluently with other sounds, or flow into them.

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ALPHABET : Letters : Vowels : What are Consonants? : Pronunciation : Words and Syllables