Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

What Are Consonants? (with Examples)

What Are Consonants? (with Examples)

All the letters in the alphabet apart from A, E, I, O, and U (called vowels) are known as consonants.

Interactive example:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. [show me the consonants]

A consonant is a letter of the alphabet which represents a basic speech sound produced by obstructing the breath in the vocal tract. For example:
  • 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
A consonant can be combined with a vowel to form a syllable.


A and An

Use a before a consonant sound, and use an before a vowel sound. (NB: The important word here is sound. A word which 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.)
Read more about using an or a.
Interactive Test