VCCV Pattern: More Than Just a Mouthful of Consonants

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve heard of the VCCV pattern. And if your first reaction was “What is that mouthful of consonants?” then you’re not alone. But fear not, because we’re about to take a deep dive into the world of VCCV patterns and discover why they’re more than just a bunch of consonants.

What Is the VCCV Pattern?

The VCCV pattern refers to a specific pattern of syllables in words. In this pattern, a word is divided into two syllables, with the first syllable containing a vowel sound followed by a consonant sound, and the second syllable containing a consonant sound followed by a vowel sound. For example, the word “rabbit” is a VCCV word, with the first syllable “rab” containing a vowel-consonant pattern, and the second syllable “bit” containing a consonant-vowel pattern.

Why Is the VCCV Pattern Important?

At first glance, the VCCV pattern may seem like a trivial aspect of language. But in reality, it plays a crucial role in many areas of linguistics and education.

Reading Education

One of the most significant impacts of the VCCV pattern is on reading education. Studies have shown that children who struggle with reading often have difficulty with VCCV patterns, as they can be challenging to identify and decode. By teaching children to recognize and read VCCV patterns, educators can help improve their reading skills and comprehension.

Speech Pathology

The VCCV pattern is also essential in speech pathology, as it can be used to diagnose and treat speech disorders. For example, a child who has difficulty pronouncing VCCV patterns correctly may have a speech disorder that needs to be addressed. By identifying and working on these patterns, speech pathologists can help improve the child’s ability to communicate effectively.

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In linguistics, the VCCV pattern is used to study the structure and evolution of language. By examining how VCCV patterns have changed over time in different languages, linguists can gain insight into the history and development of those languages.

The Ve-Ce-Ce-Vee Rule

Another important aspect of the VCCV pattern is the Ve-Ce-Ce-Vee rule. This rule states that when a word has a VCCV pattern, the first syllable is usually pronounced with a long vowel sound (Ve), and the second syllable is usually pronounced with a short vowel sound followed by a long “e” sound (Ce-Ce-Vee).

For example, the word “pilot” is a VCCV word, which follows the Ve-Ce-Ce-Vee rule. The first syllable “pi” is pronounced with a long “i” sound, and the second syllable “lot” is pronounced with a short “o” sound followed by a long “e” sound.

It’s important to note that the Ve-Ce-Ce-Vee rule is not always applicable, and there are many exceptions to this rule. However, it can be a helpful tool for identifying and pronouncing VCCV words correctly.

Common VCCV Words

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the VCCV pattern, let’s take a look at some common VCCV words.

Single-Syllable Words

  • rabbit
  • ticket
  • salad
  • habit
  • river
  • limit

Two-Syllable Words

  • pillow
  • planet
  • cactus
  • tiger
  • yellow
  • circus

Three-Syllable Words

  • happiness
  • trophy
  • chocolate
  • dinosaur
  • cathedral
  • identical

Tips for Teaching VCCV Words

If you’re a teacher or a parent looking to help your child improve their reading skills, here are some tips for teaching VCCV words:

  1. Practice identifying VCCV patterns in words with your child. For example, ask them to identify the VCCV pattern in the word “pencil.”

  2. Use flashcards with VCCV words to help your child recognize and memorize the patterns.

  3. Read aloud to your child, emphasizing the VCCV patterns in the words. Encourage them to repeat the words back to you, emphasizing the appropriate syllables.

  4. Play word games that involve VCCV words, such as hangman or Scrabble.

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In conclusion, the VCCV pattern may seem like just a bunch of consonants, but it’s much more than that. It plays a crucial role in reading education, speech pathology, and linguistics, and can help improve our understanding of language and communication. By understanding the VCCV pattern and teaching it to others, we can improve our communication skills and help others do the same.

VCCV Words First Syllable (Ve) Second Syllable (Ce-Ce-Vee)
rabbit rab bit
ticket tic ket
salad sa lad
habit hab it
river riv er
limit lim it
pillow pil low
planet plan et
cactus cac tus
tiger ti ger
yellow yel low
circus cir cus
happiness hap pi-ness
trophy tro phy
chocolate cho co-late
dinosaur di no-saur
cathedral ca the-dral
identical i den-tical


  1. Chall, J. S., & Curtis, M. E. (1990). VCCV structures in written language. Reading Research Quarterly, 25(4), 224-240.

  2. Gildersleeve-Neumann, C. E., & Wright, S. D. (2010). Training in discrimination of vowel-consonant-vowel sounds: Contributions to speech processing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(3), 699-710.

  3. McLaughlin, T., & Riconda, S. J. (1996). A comparison of the use of VCV versus VCCV units in speech perception training. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 39(2), 247-255.