For example "my class" - are the syllables in this "mike" and "lass" or "my" and then "class", another one is "recent" - are the syllables "reese" and "ent" or "ree" and "sent"?

  • Do you know the definition of syllable? any of the units into which a word is divided, containing a vowel sound and usually one or more consonants -> So "my c" and "lass" is not possible by definition...
    – Em1
    Apr 11, 2012 at 10:32
  • @Em1: The Free Dictionary says "A unit of spoken language consisting of a single uninterrupted sound formed by a vowel, diphthong, or syllabic consonant alone, or by any of these sounds preceded, followed, or surrounded by one or more consonants." Apr 11, 2012 at 10:36
  • True, my class may not be applicable (however @DavidSchwartz makes a good point). How about my example of "recent"?
    – rickyduck
    Apr 11, 2012 at 10:54
  • 1
    Are you asking how to find syllabic boundaries in words you don't already know how to pronounce? Or how to deduce the syllables from words you do know how to pronounce?
    – Amanda
    Apr 11, 2012 at 14:12
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    In English, syllables rarely move across the boundaries of words. (Of course, now somebody will bring up try-na as the spoken abbreviation for trying to, where it's clear that they have.) Apr 11, 2012 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


Are you trying to deduce correct syllabication from the spelling of the words? Putting aside the fact that English is a horrible language to spell, syllables work on the sound level. So you pronounce the word first and separate it later. You need to do all of that in your ear. Your eyes won't help you.

recent -> ˈriːsənt -> ˈriː + sənt

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