What Are Consonants? (with Examples)A consonant is a letter of the alphabet that represents a basic speech sound produced by obstructing the breath in the vocal tract. All the letters in the alphabet apart from A, E, I, O, and U (called vowels) are consonants.
Obstructing Breath in the Vocal TractHere are some examples of how sound is produced by obstructing the breath in the vocal tract:
- T is pronounced using the tongue (front part)
- K is pronounced using the tongue (back part)
- B is pronounced with the lips
- H is pronounced in the throat
- F is pronounced by forcing air through a narrow gap
- M is pronounced using the nasal passage
Use a before a consonant sound, and use an before a vowel sound. (NB: The important word here is sound. A word that starts with a vowel letter could start with a consonant sound (e.g., unicorn starts with a y sound) and vice versa.) For example:
- She was injured in a RTA.
- She was injured in an RTA. (R is a consonant, but it starts with a vowel sound.)
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