As a Speech Sound
A consonant is such a speech sound or a letter that is not a vowel. It means that in English alphabets, other than vowels, all the other letters are consonants.
Check out the below lists of vowels and consonants.
- Vowels: A, E, I, O, U.
- Consonants: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.
Note: Sometimes, Y does not act as a consonant.
A syllable is known as a unit of pronunciation which is formed with the combination of vowels and consonants. See the examples below,
In the above word, there are two syllables. ‘Re’ (in which ‘r’ is a consonant and ‘e’ is a vowel) and ‘move’ (in which ‘m’ and ‘v’ are consonants whereas, ‘o’ and ‘e’ are vowels.)
In the above word, there is only one syllable having three consonants (‘p’, ‘l’, and‘s’) and two vowels (‘e’ and ‘a’).
Consonant as an Adjective
Consonant is also used as an adjective within a sentence which is synonymous with agreeable, in agreement, or consistent. See the example sentence below,
- Nothing is more consonant with Nature than that she puts into operation in the smallest detail that which she intends as a whole. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
As a grammatical term, consonants are speech sounds. Other than vowels, rests of the letters are all consonants, for instance, b, d, p, q, z, etc. Vowels and consonants, when paired together, make up syllables.