Blends, Digraphs, Trigraphs, and Other Letter Combinations

Consonant blends, also known as consonant clusters, are groups of two or three consonants found in words that produce a distinct combined sound, such as "bl" in "black" or "spl" in "splash." These blends are essential components of English phonetics and include combinations like bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl, pr, sc, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, and tr. Each blend retains the sound of the individual consonants, though they are pronounced together swiftly.

In addition to consonant blends, there are consonant digraphs, which consist of two consonants that come together to create a single sound different from the sounds of the individual letters. Examples of consonant digraphs include ch, ck, gh, ng, ph, qu, sh, th, wh, and wr. These digraphs are fundamental in shaping the pronunciation and spelling of many English words.

Trigraphs are clusters of three consonants that form a unique sound. Some common trigraphs include nth, sch, scr, shr, spl, spr, squ, str, and thr. These combinations often appear in more complex words and add to the richness of English phonetics.

Beyond consonant blends and digraphs, there are vowel digraphs, which consist of two vowels coming together to produce a distinct vowel sound. These vowel combinations are crucial for understanding English pronunciation and include ai as in "rain," au as in "fault," aw as in "saw," ay as in "day," ea as in "team," ee as in "see," ei as in "veil," eu as in "feud," ew as in "new," ey as in "they," ie as in "pie," oi as in "boil," oo as in "food," ou as in "out," ow as in "cow," and oy as in "boy."

Each of these phonetic elements—consonant blends, consonant digraphs, trigraphs, and vowel digraphs—plays a crucial role in the structure and sound of the English language. Understanding these components is essential for mastering pronunciation, spelling, and reading fluency.

Blends, Digraphs, Trigraphs, and Other Letter Combinations

Some words that begin with common digraphs or blends


blab, black, blackberry, blackbird, blackmail, blacksmith, bladder, blade, blah, blame, blanche, bland, blandish, blank, blanket, blaring, blarney, blast, blatant, blaze, bleach, bleachers, bleak, bleary, bleat, bled, bleed, bleep, blemish, blend, blender, bless, blew, blight, blimp, blind, blindfold, blini, blink, blinkers, blintz, blip, bliss, blister, blithe, blitz, blizzard, bloat, blob, block, blockade, blockbuster, blockhead, bloke, blonde, blood, bloom, blooper, blossom, blot, blotch, blouse, blow, blowtorch, blubber, bludgeon, blue, blueberry, bluejay, bluff, blunder, blunt, blur, blurry, blurt, blush, bluster, blustery


brace, bracelet, bracket, brad, brag, braid, brain, brake, bramble, bran, branch, brand, brass, brat, brave, brawny, bray, breach, bread, break, breath, breathe, bred, breed, breeze, brew, briar, bribe, brick, bride, bridge, brief, brig, bright, brilliant, brim, brine, bring, brink, brisk, bristle, brittle, broad, broccoli, broil, broken, bronco, bronze, brooch, brood, brook, broom, broth, brother, brought, brow, brown, browse, bruise, brunette, brush, brutal


chain, chair, chalk, challenge, chamber, champion, chance, change, channel, chant, chap, chapel, chapter, char, charge, chariot, charity, charm, chart, chase, chat, cheap, check, checkers, cheek, cheer, cheese, cheetah, chef, cherry, chess, chest, chew, chick, chicken, chief, child, chili, chime, chimp, chin, china, chip, chisel, chocolate, choice, choose, chop, chore, chose, church


clad, claim, clairvoyant, clam, clambake, clamber, clammy, clamor, clamp, clamshell, clan, clandestine, clap, clapper, clarify, clarinet, clarity, clash, clasp, class, classic, classical, classification, classify, classmate, classroom, clause, claustrophobia, clavichord, claw, clay, clean, cleanse, clear, clearance, cleat, cleaver, clef, cleft, clench, clergy, clerical, clerk, clever, click, client, cliff, climate, climb, cling, clinic, clink, clip, clipboard, clique, cloak, clobber, clock, clockwise, clod, clog, clone, clop, close, closet, clot, clothes, clothespin, cloud, clout, clover, clown, cloy, club, cluck, clue, clump, clumsy, clunky, cluster, clutch, clutter


crab, crack, cracker, crackle, crackpot, cradle, crafts, crag, cram, cramp, cranberry, crane, cranefly, cranium, cranky, cranny, crash, crass, crate, crater, crave, crawfish, crawl, crayfish, crayon, craze, crazy, creak, cream, crease, create, creature, credence, credit, creed, creek, creep, creepy, crepe, crescent, cress, crest, crew, crewcut, crib, cricket, cries, crime, criminal, crimp, cringe, crinkle, crippling, crisis, crisp, crisscross, criteria, critical, criticize, critter, croak, crochet, crocodile, crocus, crone, crook, crooked, crop, croquet, cross, crosswalk, crossword, crouch, crow, crowd, crown, cruel, cruise, crumb, crumpet, crunch, crust, crutch, crux, cry, crypt, cryptic, crystal


drab, draft, drag, dragon, dragonfly, dragoon, drain, drake, dram, drama, dramatic, drank, drape, drapery, drastic, draw, drawbridge, drawer, drawl, drawn, dread, dreadful, dreadlocks, dreadnought, dream, dreary, dredge, dregs, dreidel, drench, dress, dresser, drew, dribble, drier, drift, driftwood, drill, drink, drip, drive, drivel, driven, driver, driveway, drizzle, drole, dromedary, drone, drool, drool, droop, drop, drought, drove, droves, drown, drowsy, drudgery, drug, druggist, drum, drunk, dry, dry


flab, flabbergasted, flag, flagship, flail, flair, flake, flamboyant, flame, flamingo, flan, flank, flannel, flap, flapjacks, flare, flash, flashcard, flask, flat, flatter, flaunt, flavor, flaw, flax, flay, flea, fleck, fled, fledge, fleece, fleet, flesh, flex, flicker, flier, flight, flimflam, flimsy, flinch, fling, flint, flip, flipbook, flipper, flit, float, flock, floe, flog, flood, floodlight, floor, flop, Florida, florist, floss, flotilla, flounder, flour, flourish, flow, flower, flown, flu, flub, fluctuate, flue, fluent, fluffy, fluid, fluke, flung, flunk, flush, flute, flutter, flux, fly, flyswatter


fraction, fragile, fragment, fragrant, frail, frame, frank, frantic, fraud, fray, free, freeze, freezer, freight, French horn, frenzy, frequent, fresh, fret, friction, friend, frighten, frill, fringe, frisk, frock, frog, frolic, from, frond, front, frontier, frost, froth, frothy, frown, frozen, frugal, fruit, frumpy, frustrate, fry


glacier, glad, glade, gladiator, gladiolus, glamor, glamorous, glance, gland, glare, glass, glasses, glaze, gleam, glean, glee, glen, glib, glid, glide, glider, glimmer, glimpse, glint, glisten, glitch, glitter, glitz, gloat, glob, global, globalization, globe, globetrotter, globular, glom, gloomy, glorify, glory, glossary, glossy, glove, glow, glower, glucose, glue, glum, glut, glutes, glutton, gluttony


grab, grace, graceful, gracious, grad, grade, gradual, graduate, graffiti, graft, graham, grain, gram, grammar, grand, grandchild, grandfather, grandmother, grandparent, granite, grant, granular, grapefruit, grapes, graph, grasp, grass, grasshopper, grassland, grate, grateful, grater, gratitude, grave, gravel, graveyard, gravity, gravy, gray, graze, grease, great, grebe, greedy, Greek, green, greet, greeting, grew, grey, greyhound, grid, griddle, gridiron, gridlock, grief, grieving, grill, grim, grimace, grime, grin, grind, grip, gripe, gristle, grit, grits, grizzly, groan, grocery, groggy, groin, groom, groove, groovy, grope, gross, grotesque, grotto, grouch, grouchy, ground, groundhog, group, grouse, grout, grove, grovel, grow, growl, grown, grownup, growth, grub, grudge, gruesome, gruff, grumble, grumpy, grunt


place, placid, plagiarize, plague, plaid, plain, plan, plane, planet, plank, plankton, plant, plantain, plantation, planter, plaque, plasma, plaster, plastic, plate, plateau, platform, platitude, platter, platypus, play, playground, plaza, plea, plead, pleasant, please, pleasure, pleat, pled, pledge, plenty, pliant, pliers, plight, plod, plop, plot, plover, plow, pluck, plug, plum, plumb, plumber, plume, plummet, plump, plunder, plunger, plural, plus, plush, Pluto, ply, plywood


prairie, prance, pray, precious, precipitation, precise, precocious, predict, preposition, present, president, press, pretzel, prey, price, pride, prim, primary, prime, prince, princess, principal, principle, print, prior, prism, prison, privacy, private, privilege, prize, prize, pro, probably, probe, problem, proceed, prod, project, prom, prong, pronoun, pronoun, prop, propeller, proper, proton, protractor, proud, prove, proverb, prow, prune, pry


scab, scabbard, scads, scaffold, scald, scale, scalene, scallop, scalp, scalpel, scaly, scam, scamper, scan, scandal, scanner, scant, scapegoat, scar, scarab, scare, scarecrow, scarf, scarlet, scary, scathing, scatter, scavenger, scenario, scene, scenery, scenic, scent, scepter, sceptic, science, scientific, scientist, scimitar, scintilla, scintillate, scissors, scoff, scofflaw, scold, sconce, scoop, scoot, scope, scorch, score, scorn, scorpion, scot, scotch, scour, scout, scowl, scuba, scuff, scuffle, sculptor, sculpture, scum, scurrilous, scurry, scurvy, scute, scythe


shack, shade, shadow, shake, shall, sham, shampoo, shamrock, shape, share, shark, she, sheep, shelf, shell, shepherd, shine, shiny, ship, shirt, shock, shoddy, shoot, shop, shore, short, shot, should, shoulder, shout, shovel, show, shower, shuck, shudder, shunt, shut


skate, skateboard, skatepark, skedaddle, skeet, skein, skeletal, skeleton, skeptic, sketch, sketchbook, skew, skewer, ski, skid, skiff, skill, skillet, skim, skimobile, skimp, skimpy, skin, skink, skinny, skip, skipjack, skipper, skirmish, skirt, skit, skittish, skittle, skivvy, skiwear, skulk, skull, skullcap, skullduggery, skunk, sky, skydive, skylark, skylight, skyline, skyrocket, skyscraper, skywriting


slab, slack, slain, slam, slant, slap, slash, slat, slave, slaw, slay, sled, sleek, sleep, sleeping bag, sleet, sleeve, sleigh, slender, slice, slick, slid, slide, slim, slime, slip, slippers, slit, slob, slop, slot, sloth, slough, slow, slug, slum, slump


smack, small, smallpox, smarmy, smart, smash, smattering, smear, smell, smelt, smidgen, smile, smilodon, smirk, smite, smith, smitten, smock, smog, smoke, smokescreen, smolder, smooch, smooth, smoothie, smorgasbord, smother, smudge, smug, smuggle, smush


snack, snag, snail, snake, snap, snapdragon, snapper, snapshot, snare, snarl, snatch, snazzy, sneak, sneaker, sneer, sneeze, snicker, snide, sniff, sniffle, snip, snipe, sniper, snippers, snippy, snit, snivel, snob, snood, snooker, snoop, snooty, snooze, snore, snorkel, snort, snot, snout, snow, snowball, snowboard, snowcap, snowflake, snowmobile, snowplow, snowshoe, snub, snuck, snuff, snug, snuggle, snugly


spa, space, spacecraft, spacious, spackle, spade, spaghetti, Spain, spam, span, spandex, spank, spar, spare, spareribs, spark, sparkle, sparkler, sparrow, sparse, spartan, spasm, spat, spatial, spatter, spatula, spawn, speak, spear, special, species, specific, specify, specimen, speckle, spectacle, spectacular, spectator, speculate, sped, speech, speed, spell, spend, spew, spice, spider, spiffy, spigot, spike, spill, spin, spinach, spinal, spine, spiral, spire, spirit, spit, spite, spoil, spoke, sponge, sponsor, spoof, spooky, spool, spoon, spore, sports, spot, spotlight, spouse, spout, spud, spun, spunk, spur, spurn, spurt, sputnik, sputter, spy


stab, stable, stack, stadium, staff, stag, stage, stagger, stair, stake, stalactite, stalagmite, stale, stalk, stall, stallion, stamp, stand, stapler, star, static, steak, steam, steep, stem, step, stick, sticker, sting, stomach, stone, stool, stoop, stop, store, storm, story, stove, stub, stud, student, stump, stun


swab, swaddle, swagger, swallow, swallowtail, swam, swami, swamp, swan, swanky, swansong, swap, swarm, swashbuckler, swat, sway, swear, sweat, sweater, sweatshirt, sweep, sweepstake, sweet, swell, sweltering, swept, swerve, swift, swim, swimsuit, swindle, swine, swing, swingset, swipe, swirl, swish, Swiss, switch, swivel, swizzle, swollen, swoon, swoop, swoosh, sword, swordfish, sworn, swum, swung


than, thank, thanksgiving, that, thaw, the, their, them, then, there, therefore, thermometer, these, they, they’re, thick, thief, thigh, thimble, thin, thing, think, third, thirsty, thirteen, thirty, this, thorax, thorn, thorough, those, though, thought, thousand, thud, thumb, thump, thunder, Thursday, thus


trace, trachea, track, tract, traction, tractor, trade, tradition, traffic, tragedy, tragic, trail, trailer, train, trait, traitor, tram, tramp, trample, trance, tranquil, transfer, transform, transit, translate, transmit, transparent, transport, trap, trapeze, trash, travel, tray, tread, treasure, treat, treble, tree, trek, triangle, trim, trinket, trip, triplets, trod, troll, trolley, trombone, trot, trout, truck, trumpet, trunk


t’was, twang, tweak, tweed, tween, tweet, tweeze, tweezers, twelfth, twelve, twenty, twerp, twice, twiddle, twig, twilight, twill, twin, twine, twinge, twinkle, twirl, twist, twister, twit, twitter, twixt


whale, wharf, what, wheat, wheel, wheelbarrow, wheelchair, wheeze, whelp, when, where, whereby, wherefore, wherewithal, whet, whether, whetstone, whew, whey, which, whiff, whig, while, whim, whimper, whimsical, whine, whinny, whip, whiplash, whippersnapper, whippet, whippoorwill, whir, whirl, whirligig, whirlpool, whirlwind, whisk, whisker, whiskey, whisper, whist, whistle, whistleblower, whit, white, whiteboard, whitecap, whiteout, whitewash, whittle, whiz, whoa, whooping, whoosh, whorl, why


wrack, wraith, wrangle, wrap, wraparound, wrapper, wrath, wreath, wreck, wreckage, wrecker, wren, wrench, wrestle, wretched, wriggle, wring, wrinkle, wrist, wristwatch, writ, write, writhe, writing, written, wrong, wrongful, wrote, wrought, wrung, wry

Some words that begin with common trigraphs


schedule, schematic, scheme, scherzo, schism, schizophrenic, schlep, schlock, schmooze, scholar, scholarship, scholastic, school, schoolroom, schooner, schwa


scram, scramble, scrap, scrapbook, scrape, scrappy, scratch, scrawl, scrawny, scream, screech, screen, screenwriter, screw, screwball, screwdriver, scribble, scribe, scrimmage, scrimp, scrimshaw, scrip, script, scripture, scroll, scrooge, scrounge, scrub, scruffy, scrunch, scruples, scrutinize, scrutiny


shrank, shrapnel, shred, shrew, shrewd, shriek, shrift, shrill, shrimp, shrine, shrink, shrivel, shroud, shrub, shrug, shrunk


sphagnum, sphere, spherical, spheroid, sphincter, sphinx


splash, splashdown, splat, splatter, splay, spleen, splendid, splendor, splice, splint, splinter, split, splotchy, splurge, splurt, splutter


sprain, sprang, sprawl, spray, spread, spreadsheet, spree, sprig, spring, springboard, springbok, springtime, sprinkle, sprinkler, sprint, sprite, spritz, spritzer, sprocket, sprout, spruce, sprung, spry


squab, squabble, squad, squadron, squalid, squall, squalor, squander, square, squash, squat, squawk, squeak, squeal, squeamish, squeegee, squeeze, squelch, squib, squid, squiggle, squint, squire, squirm, squirrel, squirt, squish


straight, strain, strait, strand, strange, strap, straw, strawberry, stray, streak, stream, street, strength, stress, stress, stretch, stretch, strict, stride, string, stripe, strobe, stroke, stroll, strong, struck, strum, strung, strut


thrash, thread, threat, three, thresher, threw, thrice, thrift, thriller, thrive, throat, throb, throne, throng, throttle, through, throw, thrush, thrust
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