During the middle grades, students learn to read and write multisyllabic words by dividing them into individual syllables that can be analyzed and decoded. Identifying syllable boundaries is important because it helps students determine the correct vowel sound. By following syllabication rules, students can learn how to properly divide a word into syllables This table outlines the five most useful syllabication rules.

Rules Examples
When two consonants come between two vowels in a word, divide syllables between the consonants.
  • cof-fee
  • bor-der
  • plas-tic
  • jour-ney
When there are more than two consonants together in a word, divide the syllables keeping the blends together.
  • em-ploy
  • mon-ster
  • en-trance
  • bank-rupt
When there is one consonant between two vowels in a word, divide the syllables after the first vowel.
  • ca-jole
  • bo-nus
  • plu-ral
  • gla-cier
If following the previous rule doesn’t make a recognizable word, divide the syllables after the consonant that comes between the vowels.
  • doz-en
  • ech-o
  • meth-od
  • cour-age
When there are two vowels together that don’t represent a long vowel sound or a diphthong, divide the syllables between the vowels.
  • cli-ent
  • po-em
  • cha-os
  • li-on
  • qui-et