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Spelling - syllables, onset, rime, rhyme
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Master spelling with 100-plus word lists and guide on syllable, onset, rime and rhyme

Spelling new words like though, thought, through, throughout, thorough and tough doesn’t have to be boring. Students can have fun spelling with our word lists of over 100 endings and guide on syllables, onset, rime and rhyme in many engaging ways.

This simple spelling guide includes short explanations of the terms and word lists to keep students busy. These can be used for classroom spelling games, flashcards, posters, poetry and journaling. Get ready to make spelling fun.

CLICK HERE to Improve Spelling and Reading Skills with 10 BOOKS OF SHORT STORIES with rimes.

Improve Spelling and Reading Skills (10 books)

Over 100 word lists for spelling fun

AI in words: 7 lists of rimes for spelling activities

EA in words: 15 lists of rimes for spelling activities

EI in words: 8 lists of rimes for spelling activities

EE in words: 12 lists of rimes for spelling activities

EY in words: 5 lists of rimes for spelling activities

IE in words: 11 lists of rimes for spelling activities

OA in words: 12 lists of rimes for spelling activities

OO in words: 16 lists of rimes for spelling activities

OU in words: 9 lists of rimes for spelling activities

OW in words: 15 lists of rimes for spelling activities

Digraph: Improve spelling with 22 word lists of 2-letter graphemes

Trigraph: Spell better with 19 word lists of 3-letter graphemes

4 Letters – one sound: Improve spelling with 5 word lists of 4-letter graphemes

Spell words easier with lists of 4 grapheme types

AIN words: Learn to spell with rime word list

EAR words: Learn trigraph list with homophone guide

EED words: Learn to spell with word list

KEY ending words: Learn to spell with word list

OAT words: Learn to spell with rime word list

OOT words: Learn to spell with rime word list

OWN words: Learn to spell with rime word list

EIGH words: Learn 2 English sounds with these word lists

OUGH words: Learn 7 English sounds with these word lists

Guide on syllable, onset, rime and rhyme

What is a syllable

A syllable is a part of a word that has at least one vowel sound within it. You can clap your hands to count syllables in a word e.g. ape has one syllable, apple has two, and applesauce has three. There are 6 types of syllables:

open syllable ends in a vowel (shemotel, revise)

closed syllable ends with a consonant (fruitwelcome, compose)

vowel consonant e syllable (wake, compete, dislike)

r-controlled syllable (car, resortportable)

vowel team syllable (laughgoatmeaning)

consonant -le syllable (simple, table, cycle)

What is onset

Onset is the letter or blend before a vowel in a syllable. It can be one, two or three consonants.

In cat, the onset is c. In drain, the onset is dr. In through, the onset is thr. In a word with 3 syllables like catalogue, the onsets are c, t and l. Note that the g is not counted because there is no vowel sound after it as gue makes one sound.

Place words on a board or paper and allow children to draw a line between the onset and the vowel in the word.

Open  English

What is rime

Rime is the vowel and letters that come after the onset in a syllable. There can be one or more than one rime in a word.

In cat, the rime is at. In drain, the rime is ain. In through, the rime is ough. In catalogue, the rimes are at, al and ogue.

Allow children to highlight the rime or rimes in words.

What is rhyme

Rhyme is the close similarity in the final sounds of two or more words. In poems, rhyme is commonly used at the end of the lines.

Words that rhyme with cat are fat, hat, sat and mat which all have the same rime – at. However, red, head and said also rhyme but don’t have the same rime – ed, ead and aid.

List of words for spelling exercises

Let’s look at some words to help students spot syllables, onset, rime and rhyme. Use this list to make flashcards, posters, play rhyming games, and write poems.

Allow children to spot words that rhyme but don’t have the same rime and words that have the same rime but don’t rhyme.

Each heading is a guide for the words in the list that have similar letters which may or may not sound the same.

When you use our spelling word lists, feel free to share your creativity to be published on this website for the world to see at contact@studyzoneinstitute.com. Share your name and links to your accounts to allow our readers to see more of your work.


afraid, aid, raid, said, paid, maid, laid, braid


ail, rail, mail, fail, pail, nail, sail, tail, jail, snail, frail, avail, trail, detail, daily, tailor, sailor


aim, claim, proclaim


vain, pain, chain, curtain, stain, drain, sprain, strain, captain, domain, remain, again, obtain, contain, explain, mountain, maintain, fountain, rain, train, gain, grain, brain, complain


pair, hair, hairy, fair, fairy, chair, flair, stair, repair, lair


waist, raisin, praise, daisy, raise


bait, wait, plait, await, trait, portrait, straight


area, flea, idea, pea, plea, sea, shea, tea


ahead, instead, bread, beard, bead, dead, dread, head, knead, lead, mead, read, spread, tread


deaf, leaf


beak, bleak, break, creak, freak, leak, peak, sneak, speak, squeak, steak, streak, teak, weak, wreak


appeal, meal, conceal, cereal, deal, heal, ideal, meal, real, reveal, seal, surreal, steal, squeal, teal, veal, zeal


team, beam, cream, dream, gleam, ream, seam, scream, steam, stream


clean, bean, ocean, dean, lean, mean, wean


leap, cheap, heap, reap


appear, bear, clear, dear, fear, gear, hear, near, pear, rear, spear, swear, tear, wear, year


ease, cease, crease, grease, lease, please, release, tease


beat, cheat, create, defeat, feat, great, heat, pleat, meat, neat, repeat, seat, sweat, threat, wheat


beau, bureau, plateau


reach, beach, bleach, breach, leach, teach, peach, preach


beast, breast, feast, east, least, yeast


leave, weave, greave, heave


agree, see, bee, fee, free, tee, knee, tree, three, free, glee, spree


feed, freed, greed, heed, indeed, need, seed, speed, agreed, exceed, bleed, breed, deed, weed





cheek, creek, geek, meek, leek, peek, reek, seek, week


eel, feel, kneel, peel, reel, steel, wheel


deem, seem, redeem, esteem, agreement


green, keen, teen, ween, seen, been, screen, queen, between


beep, deep, creep, jeep, keep, peep, seep, sheep, sleep, steep, sweep, weep


beer, deer, peer, steer, sheer


beet, feet, fleet, greet, meet, street, sweet


speech, screech, leech


breeze, freeze, sneeze, squeeze, wheeze


veil, unveil, ceiling, rottweiler


rein, reindeer, vein, caffeine, being, protein


heir, their, weird, weirdo


feist, feisty, heist, leisure


albeit, either, neither, conceit, deceit, receipt


eight, eighteen, eighty, weigh, weight, overweight, neigh, neighbour, height, freight, sleigh


reign, foreign, feign, sovereign


conceive, receive, deceive, perceive


they, obey, whey, grey, prey, survey, hey, convey


key, donkey, monkey, turkey, turnkey, whiskey, jockey, hockey


trolley, alley, volley, valley, pulley, barley, parsley


money, honey, kidney, chutney, chimney, cockney, journey


jersey, horsey, Malmsey, odyssey


die, lie, tie, pie, calorie, cookie, movie, beanie, hippie, junkie, genie, siege, shriek, eerie, smoothie

auntie, cutie, foodie, hoodie, bootie, baddie, goalie, birdie, weenie, bookie, hottie, veggie, softie, oldie, dearie, techie, doggie


cried, fried, tried, died, lied, spied, shied, studied, varied, married, applied


grief, brief, chief, kerchief, mischief, thief, relief, belief


science, ambience, hygiene, client, conscience, ancient, deficient, deficiency, efficient, sufficient

friend, fiend, alien, patient, patience, obedient, nutrient, ambient, audience, client


tier, pier, plier, pierce, flier, fiery, fierce, glacier, courier, barrier, soldier, carrier, premier, pacifier


cries, dies, flies, fiesta, kiddies, fries, lies, pies, patties, cookies, skies, ties, spies, priest, diesel, series, species, rabies


diet, quiet, anxiety, society, variety


preview, review, interview, viewpoint


niece, piece, masterpiece, centrepiece, earpiece, showpiece, headpiece, timepiece


field, shield, yield, wield


achieve, believe, grieve, relieve, retrieve, sieve


cocoa, boa, moa, Koa, koala, koa


broad, download, overload, load, truckload, road, roadblock, toad


oaf, loaf, meatloaf


oak, cloak, croak, soak, hoax, coax


coal, goal, foal, charcoal


roam, foam


moan, groan, loan


soap, soapy, handsoap


oar, boar, roar, board, hoard, soar, whiteboard, keyboard, motherboard, cupboard, cardboard, overboard, billboard


boast, coast, coastline, roast, toast, oasis


oat, boat, lifeboat, speedboat, bloat, coat, raincoat, waistcoat, goat, gloat, float, throat, afloat, loath, loathe


approach, broach, coach, poach, roach


too, woo, zoo, igloo


blood, good, wood, hood, stood, food, flood, mood


goof, hoof, poof, proof, roof, spoof, woof


boogie, scrooge, stooge, googly


book, cook, crook, hook, jook, look, nook, took, shook, spook, cookie


cool, drool, fool, pool, school, spool, stool, tool, wool


boom, broom, bloom, doom, gloom, groom, loom, room, zoom


moon, noon, soon, spoon, toon, saloon, maroon, balloon


coop, poop, droop, hoop, loop, scoop, stoop, snoop, swoop, whoop, troop, blooper


door, floor, poor, moor


choose, goose, loose, moose, noose, boost, swoosh


boot, foot, loot, moot, root, soot, scoot, shoot, toot


tooth, booth


ooze, booze, snooze


doozy, woozy


poodle, doodle, noodle, toodles


found, mouse, our, house, proud, bounce, around, about, pound, flour, ground, out, shout, mouth, count, pout, south, doubt, cloud, bound, sour, loud, announce, mountain, louse, doused, lounge

you, soup, wound, group, cougar, coupon, youth, route, routine, bouquet, souvenir, boutique, acoustic

couple, country, courage, encourage, young, limousine


four, pour, tour, mourn, courtesy, court

British English – rumour, humour, tumour, honour, labour, colour, flavour, armour, savour, vapour, neighbour, behaviour


moustache, dangerous, jealous, gorgeous, numerous, generous, famous, humongous, fabulous, joyous

pompous, nervous, wondrous, enormous, righteous, courteous, poisonous


delicious, obvious, ambitious, precious, vicious, ferocious, gracious, spacious, glorious, cautious, notorious


though, dough, although, borough, doughnut, thorough

thought, bought, brought, ought, fought, sought, wrought

tough, rough, cough, enough

through, throughout




could, would, should


touch, couch, slouch, pouch, vouch, grouch, ouch


double, trouble


shoulder, boulder, moulder


bow, now, elbow, wow, how, cow, vow, chow, owe, tow, know, show, snow, sow


owl, bowl, fowl, growl, howl, prowl, scowl


brown, crown, down, drown, gown, grown, own, disown, town, uptown, thrown, known, clown, flown, mown, frown, renown, shown


browse, drowsy, frowsy, grows, flows, knows, glows


window, shadow, meadow


low, glow, below, flow, blow, slow


row, brow, crowd, throw, grow, crow


allow, swallow, shallow


arrow, barrow, sparrow, narrow


bellow, fellow, mellow, yellow


pillow, willow


follow, hollow


sorrow, borrow


vowel, bowel, towel, trowel


flower, blower, power, tower, shower, powder, mower

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See also:

10 Simple things to know about a phoneme or each sound in a word

Spell words easier with 4 grapheme types

Improve reading skills with this phoneme and grapheme guide

Digraph: Improve spelling with 22 word lists of 2-letter graphemes

Trigraph: Spell better with 18 word lists of 3-letter graphemes

4 Letters – one sound: Improve spelling with 5 word lists

Vowels: A simple guide on syllables, digraphs, diphthongs, trigraphs, long, short and silent

Consonants – digraphs, trigraphs, hard, soft, blends, silent sounds

Learn alphabet: Download 27 free worksheets to colour

Trace alphabet: Download 27 free worksheets

Two letter words: Download 5 free worksheets for tracing

Words -am ending: Download 5 free worksheets to trace

Words -an ending: Download 6 free worksheets to trace

Words -at ending: Download 8 free worksheets to trace

Learn numbers: Download 32 free worksheets to colour

Trace numbers: Download 32 free worksheets for practice

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