Copyright

Comparing Phonologically Regular & Irregular Words

Instructor: Rachel Noorda
While some words follow the common patterns and rules for sound structure in English, other words do not. This lesson discusses the sound structure of words and how you can distinguish regular words from irregular words.

What is Phonology

Do you remember how you first learned to read and write? You learned the types of sounds that letters made, particularly how when you combined certain letters together, they made certain sounds (such as that when 'p' and 'h' are combined that make a sound that is different than the two sounds separately). But in this process of learning to read and write, you probably also quickly discovered that there are some sounds in English that break the rules and can be quite confusing.

How did you learn to read and write?
reading

When you were first learning what types of sounds letters made, you were using phonology. Phonology is the sound structure of a word. When you are first learning to read, you learn that each vowel usually makes a certain sound and that each consonant usually makes a certain sound. Words that follow the normal patterns of sound structure are regular words, while irregular words are more difficult to learn to decode. Let's take a look at some examples of regular and irregular words.

Regular Words

Regular words are words that you read by using common letters sounds. When learning about the letter 'A' in school, you learn that it often makes the sound that is in words like flag, snap, last, pant, grass, sand, and camp. These words all use the same 'A' sound.

You also learn the same thing about 'E' in words like best, sent, help, next, and bent or 'I' in trick, swim, trip, cliff, shift, and twin. 'O' often makes the sound found in words like frog, cross, drop, slob, or soggy. 'U' commonly makes the sound found in the words stump, skunk, trunk, blunt, or crust.

Irregular Words

Irregular words are words that have unique letter sounds that are not very common. You have to memorize the way these words are said because they do not conform to the normal conventions of letters sounds in English.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support