Is the letter Y a vowel or a consonant?

Traditionally, A E ns O and U space vowels and the rest of the letters space consonants.See ours lesson around the difference in between a vowel and also a consonant for an ext information.

You are watching: Words with y as the only vowel

However, periodically the letter Y to represent a vowel sound and sometimes a consonant sound.

Y together a vowel

The letter Y is thought about a collection when:

there is no various other vowel in the word:

fry, sly, gym, myth

the Y is ~ a consonant at the finish of a word:

happy, early, company, baby, twenty (in these words the Y has actually a long E sound)July, cry, shy, sky, fly (in this words the Y has a long ns sound)

the Y is after a collection at the finish of a word.These two vowels create a diphthong.(diphthong = a sound formed by the mix of two vowels in a solitary syllable):

play, day, chimney, monkey, boy, annoy

the Y is at the finish of a syllable:

cycle, pylon, tyrant, dynamite

the Y is in the center of a syllable:

system, typical, pyramid

Look at the word mystery.The letter Y shows up in the word mystery twice.

The an initial Y is a vowel due to the fact that it is in the middle of the syllable MYSThe final Y is a vowel because it is at the end of word (before a consonant) and has the long E sound.

Some world will say the word mystery only has one vowel due to the fact that it only has actually one E (which is one of the five traditional vowels). However, the word mystery has three vowels since the 2 Ys both do a collection sound.

Y together a consonant

When the letter Y is in ~ the begin of word the produces a distinctive Y sound.

Year, yellow, yes, young

When us pronounce this initial Y, we space not letting the air circulation freely like a vowel.

When Y is at the start of syllable, it also has the distinctive Y sound:

Beyond, lawyer

Since the Y sound (for instance at the start of a word) is so distinctive and also cannot be changed by various other letters, that is this reason the letter Y is considered much more a consonant than a vowel.

See more: If He Hasn T Called In A Week, Is That His Way Of Dumping Me?

However as you have seen, that is an ext common to find the letter Y provided as vowel more than together a consonant.

Summary Chart


Practice Exercise

Does the letter Y have actually a vowel sound or a consonant sound in the word?

Happy– The Y in happy has a vowel soundYellow– The Y in yellow has a consonant soundSystem– The Y in system has actually a collection soundFry– The Y in fry has actually a vowel soundBeyond– The Y in past has a consonant soundYes– The Y in yes has a consonant soundMyth– The Y in myth has actually a vowel soundBicycle– The Y in bicycle has a collection soundLawyer– The Y in lawyer has actually a consonant soundYard– The Y in yard has a consonant sound