Decoding exercises: "io"

From Teflpedia
IPA vowels
æ ɑː
trap father - start
dress face square
ɪ ɪə
kit fleece near
ɒ əʊ ɔː
lot goat taught
ʊ ʊə
foot goose mature
juː jʊə
cute cure
ʌ ə ɜː
strut comma nurse
price mouth choice

The sequence "io" normally is part of two syllables (as in "sociology") or the "i" modifies the sound of the previous letter as in "action". This page sets out some words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of how they can sound out more correctly the different sounds corresponding to words containing "io".

Modified "c", "s", "t" + "io"[edit]

See also: Decoding exercises: "sion", Decoding exercises: "tion"

The letters "c", "s" and "t" often change their sound when followed by an "i".

  • "cio" as /ʃə/: suspicion
  • "cio" as /ʃə/ or /ʒə/AmE: coercion
  • "sio"
  • as /ʒə/: conclusion, confusion, decision, division, explosion, occasion, occasional, precision, provision, television, vision, visionary
  • as /ʃə/: compulsion, extension, pension, propulsion, revulsion, tension, torsion
  • "ssio" as /ʃə/: admission, aggression, compassion, compassionate, confession, depression, discussion, mission, missionary, profession
  • "tio"
  • as /ʃə/: action, addition, additional, condition, education, function, functional, information, nation, organization, position, relation, situation, tradition, traditional
  • as /ʃə/ or /ʃ/: national
  • as /tʃə/: question, suggestion
  • as /ʃə/ or /tʃə/: attention, intention, mention
  • as /ʒə/: equation
  • as /ʃiːəʊ/: ratio

Unmodified "c", "s", "t" + "io"[edit]

  • "cio" as /siːəʊ/: nuncio, sociocultural
  • "cio" as /siːɒ/: sociology
  • "cio" as /siːə/: sociological
  • "sio" as /ziːəʊ/: physiotherapy
  • "sio" as /ziːɒ/: anaesthesiology,BrE anesthesiology,AmE physiology
  • "tio" as /tiːə/: bastion

Two syllables[edit]

  • /aɪɒ/: biology
  • /aɪɒ,BrE aɪɔːAmE/: priority
  • /aɪəʊ/: Ohio
  • /aɪə/: Iowa, lion, prior, violence
  • /iːəʊ/: cardio, cardiovascular, Ethiopia, studio
  • /iːɒ/: cardiology
  • /iːə/: champion, criterion, interior, period, radio, senior, union

One syllable[edit]

  • /jə/: behavior,AmE behaviour,BrE billion, onion, opinion
  • /ə/: region, religion, fashion

Variant pronunciations[edit]

  • /ʃiːɒ, siːɒ/: glaciology


  • "ious" as /iːəs/: curious, obvious, previous, serious, various
  • "ious" as /əs/: anxious, religious
  • "cious" as /ʃəs/: atrocious, audacious, auspicious, conscious, delicious, malicious, precious, suspicious


See also[edit]

External links[edit]