Syllable Rules 6-7

That’s why we’re here to help in the third episode, which covers rules six and seven. These mini-posts go into a bit of detail concerning the rules, so there’s no confusion for you or your students!


by Brendan Bense

April 13, 2019

Welcome to our third post on syllable rules, where FactSumo breaks down each and every rule for, well, breaking down syllables! Syllables are easy to sound out loud, but a little more difficult to write. That’s why we’re here to help in the third episode, which covers rules six and seven. These mini-posts go into a bit of detail concerning the rules, so there’s no confusion for you or your students! Today we’ll be talking about prefixes, suffixes, and compounds. Many of these rules are a lot easier to understand when you say them out loud, so remember to follow along with us as we sound them out.

Ready to dive in? Us too!


If you’ve never heard of prefixes and suffixes, that’s okay! Let’s discuss what they are, and then the rule will be a lot less confusing. A prefix is an attachment to a root word. Prefixes go at the beginning of root words, and change the meaning of the word. Sometimes, a prefix can even change the root word to its opposite! If you reread something, that means you read it over again. If you undo something, that means you cancel something you just did. The bold letters in these words are prefixes!

Suffixes are very similar, except they go at the end of the root word! Suffixes don’t necessarily change the meaning of the root word, but they do change how the word behaves or its form. For instance, let’s use the word peaceful. The root word is peace, and the suffix is -ful. Peaceful means full of peace. We picked a straightforward one because it’s easy!

Now that we know what prefixes and suffixes are, the rule should be clear. If you can’t identify a root word, think of what the word would look like without letters added to the front and end. Let’s return to our example computer from episode one. If you recall, we already have com-put. Did you pick out the suffix -er? If so, great job! That means the full syllable breakdown is com-put-er.


Compound words are basically two words that come together to form one word. In the same way that vowel teams bring two vowels together, compound words bring two words together. Compound words have different meanings from their original words, but sometimes you can figure out the meaning based on the separate words. For instance, the compound word sunglasses is a combination of sun and glasses. You could probably guess that sunglasses are glasses used for sunny days.

Let’s use sunglasses as an example for rule seven. As stated above, you want to divide between words within the compound word. So, we’ll put a dash right between the two words that form the compound word: sun-glasses. Now, all we have to do is divide before the suffix (as we learned in our last episode): sun-glass-es. There we go! A three syllable word that is divided super easily. Can you think of another compound word you hear often? Let’s try the word butterfly. We can’t figure out the meaning of this compound word by dividing its parts. A butterfly is not made of butter. However, we can still use rule seven to divide between the words that make it up! Therefore, we’ll divide three times: once between the two consonants in the beginning, and once between the words that make up the compound. The result? But-ter-fly. Easy stuff!

These two syllable rules are super manageable, and we hope you got the hang of them! If you’re ready to move on, that’s great! On our fourth episode, we’re going to talk about rules eight and nine, which have to do with short and long vowels. If you don’t think you’re ready, that’s okay too! FactSumo is all about confidence through practice. So look over these rules, play our decks, and practice, practice, practice! See you next time on FactSumo!