mail tip Sign up for daily tips
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
grammar checker Try a grammar checker
Follow Us on Twitter Like us on Facebook by Craig Shrives

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