A VISUAL INTRODUCTION TO THE “PQs” 
 
           “PQs” stands for “pronunciation clues.”
    
Note: the letter/s in blue in each word below represent/s the letter / sound that is being focused on in each example.
   
   
1) LETTER NAME SOUNDS

THE 26 “LETTER NAME” PQs. These “letter names” are the sounds of the English letters when you “say the ABCs” (i.e., read the 26 alphabet letters). The letter shown in blue will become “bold” (big / thick / fat) when you click on the word (touch the word, if you use a touch-screen). Then continue to click on the pop-up box that the word is enclosed in, until the word is spoken. Listen to ALL of the sounds of every letter in each word! And watch some of the letters change their appearance, for any sound they make that is NOT their “most frequent” / “COMMON” sound.  
   
   
         

          acorns
  
          acorns      
     

===
    
         
          bees
   
          bees  
   
===
  
         
          ceiling

          ceiling  
   
===

         
          detour

          detour  
   
===
   
           
          Egypt

          Egypt  
   

===
 
       
          chef
    

          chef  
   
===
   
         
          genie
  
          genie  
  
===
   
         
          HVAC
   

          HVAC  
   
===
   
         
          ice
   
          ice  
   
===
    
         
          jail
   
          jail  
     

===
         
          KFC
   
          KFC  
  
===
  
         
          elephant
   
          elephant  
   
===
  
         
          lemon
  
          lemon  
   
===
 
         
          engine
 
          engine  
   
===
   
           
          oasis

   
          oasis  
   
===
   
         
          piano
  

          piano  
   
===
   
         
          barbeque
  
          barbeque  
   
===
   
         
          arms
   
          arms  
   
===
   
             
          dresses
   
          dresses      
   
===
   
         
          teeth
   
          teeth  
   
===
   
         
          cube
    
          cube  
   
===
   
         
           TV
  
           TV  
   
===
   
         
          YWCA
   
          YWCA  
    
===
   

         
          YMCA
  
          YMCA  
  
===
   
         
          zebra
   
          zebra  
   
===
   
2) COMMON SOUNDS

THE 26 “COMMON” PQs. These are the MOST FREQUENT sounds for each of the 26 letters. Since they represent the highest frequency of each letter’s possible sounds, there are no changes to a “normal font” appearance. They will look just like all of the letters in this very paragraph.

                   
               apple
          apple  
   
===
             
          bike
 
          bike    
   
===
   
         
          cat
   
          cat  
   
===
  
         
          dog
  
          dog  
   
===
   
         
          eggs
  
          eggs  
   
===
   
         
          fish
   
          fish  
  
===
  
         
          guitar
  
          guitar  
  
===
  
         
          hats
  

          hats  
   
===
   
         
          iguana
  
          iguana  
 
===
  
         
          juice
  
          juice  
   
===
   
         
          keys
  
          keys  
  
===
   
             
             lion
   
             lion  
 
===
    
       
          mop
  
          mop  
  
===
   
         
          nose
 
          nose  
   
===
   
         
          octopus
  
          octopus  
  
===
   
         
          paint
  
          paint  
   
===
  
         
          queen

   
          queen  
 
===
  
         
          rice
 
          rice  
   
===
   
           
          sun
 
          sun  
   
===
   
           
          toes
  

          toes  
   
===
   
         
          umbrella
  
          umbrella  
   
===
   
         
          vultures
 
          vultures  
   
===
   
         
          web
 
          web  
   
===
   
         
          box
  
          box  
   
===
  
         
          pinky
  
          pinky  
   
===
   
         
          zippers
   
          zippers  
   
===
   
3) SILENT “SOUNDS”
 
THE 26 “SILENT” PQs. Every one of the 26 English letters is silent in at least one word. Further, a huge percent of all of our words contain silent letters. Since these letters make no sound, the visual PQ change that we make to these letters is to turn them light gray. Some of our young students say that “the letter disappeared.” We don’t need to show all 26 letters, since they all make the same sound, the sound of silence. Here are just a few examples.
   
               
               thumb
   
          thumb
   
===
       
          knee
   
          knee  
   
===
    
         
          trucks
    
          trucks  
   
===
    
         
          dough
  
          dough  
   
===
   
4) THE “SCHWA” SOUND
 
In PQs, five letters can make this sound: a, e, i, o, y. The letter “u” can also make this sound, but the COMMON sound of “u” is so close to the “schwa” sound, that we don’t bother to change the way the “u” looks in PQs. What in the world is a “schwa?” It is an “uh” sound that happens very quickly. At the normal speed of speaking in English, a LOT of our words have this sound, and often, more than once in the word. The more letters that there are in a word, the higher the odds that there is at least one “schwa” sound in there.
   
 
               
              kangaroos
   
         kangaroos  
   
===
 
         
          cemetery
   
          cemetery  
===
    

         
               giraffe
 
               giraffe  
   
===

               

   
       
 
dinosaurs
 
          dinosaurs   
  
===
  
         
          Tyrannosaurus
  
          Tyrannosaurus