What is a digraph?

A digraph combines two letters to make a single sound in written or spoken English. Digraphs can consist of consonants and vowels. These shouldn’t be confused with adjacent consonants, where each letter makes a distinct sound rather than combining to make one sound.

What is a vowel digraph?

During year 1, there are many vowel digraphs that children will learn. These can come at the start of a word, an ‘initial’ digraph, or the end, a ‘final’ digraph. Vowel digraphs are groups of two letters that make one sound, where at least one is a vowel. Vowel digraphs are typically placed in the middle of words, although this isn’t always the case.

Vowel digraph list

Check out this list of vowel digraphs your pupils will learn.

  • ow – as in know or snow
  • ui – as in fruit or bruise
  • oe – as in toe or goes
  • oa – as in boat or road
  • ea – as in thread or lead
  • ea – as in read or beach
  • ie – as in pie or lie
  • ie – as in field or chief
  • ue – as in glue or fuel
  • oo – as in wood or flood
  • ey – as in they or prey
  • ai – as in rain or pain.
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