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  • Writer's pictureThe Literacy Lady

Letter Y: Differentiating the Ending Sound

Determining the sound of the letter "Y" at the end of a word can be a bit challenging for little ones. Students need to practice this rule in order to reach mastery. The ending sound for Y is just another rule that readers need to understand to decode confidently.


Let's review the rule, when "Y" is at the end of a word, it more often makes a long "E" sound. For example, "happy," "funny," or "baby." The rule for this, is if the word has another vowel in the word then it has the long E sound. If the word is two syllables, then it uses the king E sound as well.


But in some cases, the letter "Y" at the end of a word can represent a long "I" sound. Examples include "cry," "fly," or "sky." This is when the word has no other vowel in the word. The only exception for this is the word "July."


It is essential for students to practice this spelling pattern. There are so many benefits of practicing this skill. First, students will become better readers! By understanding these rules students can read unknown words with fluency. This leads to deeper reading comprehension as well.


Furthermore, understanding the different sounds of "Y" at the end of words helps students spell with accuracy. If students have truly mastered this skill they will use the letter "Y" rather than "E" or "I." Personally I believe this is the most beneficial thing from teaching this pattern because it is so simple yet essential. When students use and "E" or "I" for this sound, I know it is an easy fix.


I created a simple set of letter Y ending sound sorts! You can grab them all here at my store. Or grab a freebie below!



Letter Y Ending Sound Sort
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