Consonant clusters



In many Nigeria languages, there is no consonant cluster but in English, there may be an initial cluster of two or three consonants. In some English vowels, it is not easy to identify consonant cluster by merely looking at the written form of the word. Such words manifest the cluster only when they are pronounced. The following are example: bitten, coffin, garden, raffle, peddle, little, bangle,

Word                                       Correct pronunciations

New                                         / nju: /

Few                                         / fju: /

Tune                                        / tju:n /

View                                        / vju: /

Stew                                        / stju: /

Stupid                                      / stju:pld /

Cluster of two consonants

Bride                            crime

Dwell                           flame

Glad                            crop

Play                             tray

Thrice                          spice

Shrink                          stand.

Cluster of three consonant

Sprint                           spring

Splash             stray

Scrap                          scream

Squire                          squeeze

Strong                         stripe.

In an English word, there may be a consonant at the end of a word. While two or three consonant can occur at the beginning of a word in English the language permits at most four consonants in a cluster at the end of a word. This can be expressed as: ( C 0 – 3 ) v ( C 0 – 4 ) or ( CCC) V (CCCC).

Cluster of four consonant

Tempts                        exempts

Sixths              texts

Prompts                      sculpts

Glimpsed                     twelfths.




There are twelve (12) tenses and each one has its own special use. ’Tense and ‘Time ‘mean different things – Tense is the change which takes place in the structure (i.e. farm) of the verb to donate time.

  1. THE PRESENT SIMPLE TENSE: This is used for something known to be true. Example. Dogs are animals.

*The sun shines during the day.

*Sugar is sweet.

  1. THE PRESENT CONTINOUS TENSE:- This can be used when we want to tell people that something is happening now, at the very moment of writing or speaking. E.g

* I am going to lagos

* Daniel is writing a letter

*Nneka is insulting her friend.

* Yakubu is dancing.


It shows that a past activity is closely or almost joined to the present. Example

*She has written a letter.

* We have waited for four hours

*They have gone to the market


It shows that activities which began in the past have been going on until the present. Example

  • They have been dancing since seven 0’o clock
  • Paul has been crying since two 0’clock.
  • Iyabo has been writing letters since nine 0’clock.

It indicates past activities which are not joined to the present. Example

*Mercy wrote a letter to her friend yesterday.

*Onyinyechi did her home work last week.

*Last year, Philip spent his holiday in Abuja.

  1. THE PAST CONTINOUS TENSE: It is used when we want to show that two actions simultaneous.


*Kemi was singing while her friend was dancing.

*Mrs Oseni was cooking while her daughter was washing was washing plates and cups.

  1. THE PAST PERFECT TENSE: Shows that an event took place before another event in the past. Example

* The basket ball match had begun when Samuel and James arrived.

* The train had left before he had read most of the History text books

  1. THE PAST PERFECT CONTINOUS TENSE: This is used when we want to show that an incident took place before another incident in the past and that particular incident was continuous. Example:

*           Hammed had been working for the national bank for six years when he was          promoted.

*           At four O’clock Emeka and Chibuzor had been playing football for three hours.

  1. THE FUTURE TENSE: It is used to show an event that will take place in the future. Example:

I shall write a letter to my brother

They will attend the party.

We will meet the principal in the office

  1. THE FUTURE CONTIOUS TENSE: We use this tens, when we want to show the activities will be continuing in the future. Example:

*           Next July, we shall be taking our universities matriculation examination.

*           My Uncle will be studying at the college of education next month

  1. THE FUTURE PERFECT CONTIOUS TENSE: It shows that activities considered in the future as past will be going “on and on”. Example

*           She will have been studying mathematics.

L          THE FUTURE PERFECT TENSE: It deals with time in the future. It shows            that at a certain time in the future, event will be in the past. Example:

*           You will have finished that English textbook next week

*           By two O’clock she will have been  here four hours.

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