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64+ Open Syllable Words & Word List

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This list includes 64 words with open syllables, organized in an easy-to-read chart. They’re listed in four categories: Nonsense syllables, 1 syllable words, 2 syllable words, and 3 syllable words. Get the free printable below!

Graphic of a clipboard with the worksheet list of open syllable words.


This printable open syllables list is great for dictation, independent practice, and more, as students learn all about open syllables!

👉 Open Syllable Definition: An open syllable is a syllable that ends in a vowel. The vowel will always be a long vowel and say its name.

Many words include open syllables, so it is necessary to teach children about open syllables as they become proficient readers.

You should teach open syllables along with or right after you have taught closed syllables.

📚 Educational Focus: Ideally, you want to introduce these concepts beginning in 1st grade. But if you’re new to SOR (Science of Reading) and work with kids who are still struggling to read multisyllabic words, you’ll want to teach open and closed syllables as soon as possible!

Open Syllable Words

  • fry
  • we
  • hi
  • spy
  • so
  • by
  • be
  • fly
  • I
  • she
  • my
  • he
  • cry
  • no
  • why
  • sly
  • shy
  • go
  • try

Many multisyllabic words are made up of syllables that would be nonsense on their own.

Think of the word music. It begins with the open syllable . This is nonsense on its own, but makes sense when added to the closed syllable sĭc. Together, they make sense and form a real word. When teaching open syllables, you need to include nonsense syllables so children get familiar with this idea.

👉🏽For more nonsense words, grab our word list with 376+ nonsense words!

Open Syllable Nonsense Words

  • sno
  • di
  • re
  • nu
  • ro
  • bre
  • po
  • fu
  • stu
  • ta
  • ze
  • hy
  • hu
Bulletin board with two colorful houses, one for open syllables and one for closed syllables.
We like to keep our Open & Closed Syllable House posters on display for students to reference while they work!

Note: Syllables that end in Letter Y can represent the long ī or long ē sound.

The Words

It’s sometimes difficult to find a comprehensive list of open syllables and 1, 2, and 3 syllable words with open syllables. So here is it as a free PDF worksheet with easy download!

Some examples from the worksheet are:

Nonsense Syllables: bā, sē, fō, clī,  dū, rē

1 Syllable Words: fry, hi, she, no, dry, she, we

2 Syllable Words: a/go, o/ver, car/go, e/vil, ze/bra

3 Syllable Words: vol/ca/no, to/ma/to, po/ta/to

Using the Printable

You can use this open syllable word list for practice in so many ways!

  1. Use the words to model and practice marking open and closed syllables.
  2. Dictate the words or syllables to see if children can correctly spell and identify the long vowel sounds.
  3. Glue or staple in students’ phonics notebooks and have them practice reading and re-reading for fluency, focusing on the long vowel sounds.
  4. Create your own sorts using the syllables and words. Cut the words and ask your student to sort them according to nonsense, one, two, and three syllable words!

However you choose to use this list, be sure you provide lots of opportunities for practice! And check out all our syllables resources for more information and resources on syllables.

Pinterest graphic with the open syllables word list on a clipboard.

Download & Print

Questions, concerns or feedback? Drop a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn!

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Please do not save our files to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!

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