Decoding exercises: "al"

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The letter combination "al" has several different pronunciations. This article sets out some words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of the differences.

"all"[edit]

  • /ɔːl/: all - ball - call - fall - hall - install - small - tall - wall
  • /əl/: allergic - allow - parallel
Ending in "ally": actually - finally - normally
  • /l/: basically - practically - specifically - technically - typically
  • /æl/: allergy - alligator - ballet - challenge - Halloween - metallic - shall - shallow - valley
  • /ɒl/: swallow - wallet

"alk"[edit]

  • Always /ɔː/: chalk - stalk - talk - walk

At the beginning of the word[edit]

  • /ɔːl/: almost - already - also - alternative - although - always
  • /əl/: alarm - Alaska - alert - alive - alone - along
  • /æl/: Alabama - album - alcohol - Algeria - alphabet
  • /ɑː/: almond

At the end of the word[edit]

  • Magic e, /eɪl/: female, male, sale, scale
  • /əl/: animal, capital, final, general, hospital, national, local, personal, political, several, total

Followed by consonants[edit]

  • /æ/AmE, /ɑː/BrE: calf, half
  • /ɑː/: calm, palm
  • /ɔːl/: bald, salt
  • /əl/: Donald, emerald, Ronald

In the middle of the word[edit]

  • /æl/: analysis - balance - calculate - personality - salary - talent - valuable - value
  • /æ/: salmon
  • /eɪl/: Australia
  • /ɒl/: qualify
  • /ɑːl/: Guatemala
  • /ɔːl/: false - Walter
  • /əl/: analyseBrE - analyzeAmE - equally - equivalent - Italy - journalist - penalty

Variant pronunciations[edit]

See also[edit]