What are long a words in the English language? The long a sound has eight varieties of spelling which can make it tricky. Here you’ll learn a little about long a, the eight ways in which you can spell long a words, and see some examples for each spelling.
Long A Words
What are Long A Words?
A long a is the sound pronounced the way the a is said. For example, the way you say the letter a at the beginning of the alphabet is the long sound for the letter a. So, any word that makes that sound is considered a long a word.
Ways to Spell Long A Words
There are eight ways to spell long a words:
- a – table
- a-e – plane
- ai – train
- ay – today
- ei – beige
- eigh – weight
- ea – break
- ey – hey
You may notice that most of these are in vowel teams, which means that they are working with another vowel to make the long a sound. There are some reasons, rules, and tricks to use to remember the differences.
- a-e: This style has an a and e with a consonant in between. The e is silent in these long words.
- ai: You will find this long a sound either in the beginning or in the middle of a base word. Most of these words also end with the letter n, but not all the time.
- ay: This long a style will be at the end of a base word.
- ei: This pattern is not very common and doesn’t come with any rules. You’ll see some examples below.
- eigh: You will find this sound pattern at the end of some long a words.
- ea: This long a pattern is the least common way to make the long a sound. You’ll see this vowel team in the middle of long a words.
- ey: There are only ten common words that are spelled with this style.
Learn more with long vowel words English.
List of Long A Words
Here is a list of long a words in each of the eight spelling patterns
With having eight different ways to produce the long a sound in a word, it may be easiest to learn each sound pattern one at a time to get comfortable and familiar with them. There are several fun games and resources available that can be found online to help you learn and differentiate between these eight long a word sound patterns. The most important thing to remember in identifying a long a word is that the sound will be the same as the name of the letter a.