-ai-


 Click on the player above to listen to the pronunciation (* denotes a different sound)

aid
aid/aide
afraid
braid
laid
raid
paid
maid
*said

ais
waist
daisy
praise
raisin
aisle*

aim
aim
claim
exclaim

ail
ail, ailment
available
fail  / failure
frail
hail
jail
pail
nail
sail
wail
tail
mail, mailbox
snail
trail
rail, railway, railroad

ait
wait
waiter, waitress
bait
trait
traitor
faith

silent ‘gh’   straight, straighten

-ain
brain
grain
gain
vain
pain
plain
drain
train
rain
main
Spain
sprain
stain
chain
complain
maintain
rainbow
painless
contain
explain
remain
terrain
refrain
regain
sustain
distain
saint
taint
paint, painter
quaint
acquaintance
dainty
campaign (silent ‘g’)
*again
mountain
fountain
captain
bargain
villain
air* (different sound)
air
airport, airplane
airtight
pair
hair, haircut
stair/stairs/staircase
stairway
fair
fairway
fairy
dairy
chair
chairman/woman
lair
flair
repair
despair
unfair
impair
affair


Drop the ‘i’ rule
In some -ai- words when we add certain vowel suffixes we drop the ‘i’

Notice the long “ay” sound becomes a short “a” sound:

explain – explanation, explanatory, self-explanatory
Spain – Spaniard/ Spanish

proclaim – proclamation
reclaim – reclamation
acclaim – acclamation

We also change the -ai- to -en- in these words (notice the sound change):
maintain – maintenance
detain – detention
retain – retention
attain – attention
sustain – sustenance
abstain – abstention

ai quiz

Type in the right words from the selection above

Now do the ai word search (click link) or do the spelling test. Also check out the difference between -ale/ -ail