What are Closed Syllables

Did you know there are 6 different syllable types?

Before I started teaching learning support, I had NO IDEA about teaching students to read through syllable types. The English language is so complicated with so many rules and rule-breakers. If you have ever wondered what are closed syllables, let’s break this down step-by-step and soon you will be teaching syllable types like a pro!

What are the 6 syllable types?

Here is a quick guide for syllable types:

  1. closed syllables – cat, dog, hip, cut
  2. vowel-consonant-e – tape, hope, mine
  3. open syllables – hi, she, try
  4. r-controlled syllables – car, her, turn
  5. consonant-le syllables – jungle, uncle, title
  6. vowel team syllables – coin, beat, pray

What are closed syllables?

A closed syllable has a consonant after the vowel, making the vowel use its short sound. If you are used to hearing the term CVC words, this is the same thing! CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant. But remember, if there is a consonant after the vowel in the syllable, the vowel will make its short vowel sound. 

What are some closed syllable words?

hit – The t comes after the i, so the i says its short vowel sound like igloo instead of the long vowel sound like ice


hi – If there is no consonant after the i in the syllable, the i will make its long vowel sound like in the word hi.


past – In this word, there are two consonants after the vowel. This doesn’t matter. As long as there is one consonant after the vowel, it will be a short vowel sound. 


crib – In this word, there are two consonants before the vowel. Again, this doesn’t matter! As long as there is one consonant after the vowel, it will be a short vowel sound. 


it – Where is the consonant before the vowel? Still doesn’t matter. The word only needs at least one consonant after the vowel to have a short vowel sound.


find – Okay, there is at least one consonant after the vowel, so why is this vowel sound long? Just to make things complicated, there are a few rule breakers. The following sounds break the closed syllable rules: ind, ild, old, olt, ost

Need practice reading words with closed syllables?

Check out this word list pack for practicing closed syllables!

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Hi, I'm Rachel!

I am a second grade learning support teacher, adjunct professor and momma to two little girls! I help teachers like you get organized and create systems to save time.

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