Letters, Alphabets, and the Words in English | Definition and Structure

The parts of speech like the noun and the adjective will smooth the way to correct writing. The exercises accompanying the explanations need to be done methodically and devotedly.

The nouns, as I often explained to my students and classes, are connected with the articles like the fingers connected with the palm. And, sometimes, interestingly, we don’t find any article companions to certain nouns as explained in this chapter.

Letters in English

When we speak, we produce sounds. A letter represents a speech sound. There are, as you know, twenty-six letters in the English alphabet. a, b, c to z are small letters and A, B, C to Z are capital letters.

-Kinds of Letters

The vowels are “a, e, i, o, u” and the consonants are all the other letters. The vowels can be sounded without the help of other letters. “h,” “w” and “y” are semi-vowels as they produce vowel sounds partly, for example, “hour,” in which h is silent. w and y are taken as vowels when they do not begin with a syllable. In “way” (pronounced wae), “y” gives a vowel sound, but “w” is a consonant. The consonants can be meaningfully sounded in combination with other letters.

The Word in English

It is a group of letters or combination of sounds with some meaning.

  • war-three letters + 3 sounds

The word is the smallest unit of language that people can understand when they hear or read it. In English it is composed of one or more letters from a to z.

  • a, one, play, building, Taj, government, etc. are words.

Words make up a phrase, clause or sentence

-Word Structure

The syllable: It is a word or part of a word that contains a single vowel sound. .It can be uttered with a single stretch of voice, for example, can, say, play (single syllables), but cannot (two syllables-can and not). A syllable always contains a vowel sound.

1. One-syllabled or mono-syllabled words:

  • do, trick, step, gun, must, kick, stone, play, etc. These have one-unit sounds.

2. Two-syllabled, three-syllabled words and words having more syllables than three may be noted from these examples:

  • playing (play-ing, two-syllabled), Kashmir (Kash-mir, two-syllabled); condition (con-di-tion, three-syllabled); hopelessness (hope-less-ness, three-syllabled); engineering (en-gi-neer-ing, four-syllabled); dispassionate (dis-pa-ssion-ate, four-syllabled); particularly (par-ti-cu-lar-ly, five-syllabled); nationalization (na-tion-al-i-za-tion, six-syllabled). . .
  • For stressed and unstressed syllables of words, look up a standard dictionary.

Some Syllable Words in English

One syllable Words

Man El Ad
Ch Ab Ae
Re Five AN
Be To ER
Life Love Es
Ness BA Fish
Ap Go Heart
AR Near MO
Ion Sh Na
La Ta No
On Ate One
World ME OR
En CA Wolf
Ring Ace You
Day AL

Letters, Alphabets, and the Words in English | Definition and Structure

2 Syllable Words

public nutmeg album
goblin picnic cactus
tennis napkin publish
misfit limit punish
combat attic until

3 Syllable Words List

disinfect admonish accomplish
volcanic Cadillac columnist
penmanship investment consistent
fantastic athletic establish
cosmetics imprison inexact
misconduct basketball inhabit
astonish Atlantic magnetic
congressman craftsmanship Wisconsin

Letters, Alphabets, and the Words in English | Definition and Structure

Some Related Terms

-The affix:

It means here a letter or group of letters added to the beginning or end of a word to change its meaning or the way it is used. It is a prefix or a suffix.

-The prefix:

It means a letter or group of letters added to the front of a word to change its meaning.

  • The prefix in “inexact” is “in.” In “today” the prefix is “to.” In “useless” the prefix is “use.” In “re-employ” the prefix is “re.” In “two-way” the prefix is “two.” In “high-principled” the prefix is “high.” In “airless” the prefix is “air.”

-The suffix:

It means a letter or group of letters added to the end of a word to make another word.

  • “less” in careless, “ly” in slowly, “al” in additional, “free” in trouble-free, “y” in dirty are suffixes.

In word formation, we have to be careful about the way words are spelt, with or without the prefixes and suffixes.


It is stress laid on a single syllable, as in “terror” the first syllable “ter” is stressed.


It is stress applied to a syllable, word or passage by the use of jestures (motions of body parts), italics or other signs, as in “it will horrify all us” (all the sentence is emphasized), in “Whom can we trust?” (“whom” is emphasized), in “wonder,” the first syllable, “won” is emphasized or stressed.

-Inflect; Inflection (n.):

It means to change the form of a word to express tense, gender, number, mood, etc.

-Conjugate (v.); conjugation (n.):

It means to give the different forms of a verb as they change according to number, person, tense, etc.

-Decline (v.) declension (n.):

When a noun, an adjective or a pronoun declines, it has different forms according to whether it is the subject or the object of a verb, whether it is in the singular or plural, etc.