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What are consonant blends?

What are consonant blends?

Blends are clusters of two or three consonants which appear together in a word. Each letter in a blend makes a sound and these sounds are then blended together. For example, in the word play, the p and the l must be blended together to read the full word. In the word scrape, three consonants make up the blend: s, c, and r.

Blends are not to be confused with digraphs and trigraphs, where a group of two or three letters respectively corresponds to a single sound.

For example, the word splash contains a three-consonant blend of s, p, and l. Each letter makes its own sound. These sounds are blended together into spl-. On the other hand, the -sh in splash is a digraph because two letters make a single sound.

Deep Dive

Read our report on the Science of Reading. Research-based reading instruction must incorporate the 5 pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This report provides an easy to understand overview of each of these pillars and explains the important connection between how the brain learns to read (the Neuroscience of Reading) and how we teach children to read (The Science of Reading Instruction). It also explains why helping children build connections between letters and sounds, through phonics and phonemic awareness, is so crucial for the developing reading mind. This report is perfect for sharing with colleagues and friends!