In a nutshell
The letter f is one of the easier letters in the English language as it can almost always be relied upon to be pronounced the same way (for example, the ‘f’ sound in ‘fish’). Funnily enough, one of the few exceptions to this comes in one of the most common and simple words of all – ‘of’, which is of course pronounced as if it were ‘ov’.
This is a pleasant song to reinforce to your child the sound of the letter f:
Limericks are a lot of fun and can be a good introduction to poetry for your child. They usually start along the lines of ‘There was a…’ and the rhyming pattern is always AABBA, (that is the first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.)
Here is a silly limerick featuring the letter f, which is also a bit of a tongue twister:
A lively young fisher named Fischer
Fished for fish from the edge of a fissure.
A fish with a grin
Pulled the fisherman in.
Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fischer!
If English is your child’s second language
Some speakers who are new to English have difficulty in correctly differentiating the pronunciations of ‘f’ and ‘v’. This video shows you in detail the correct way to make each sound:
Some new English speakers also find it hard to correctly pronounce ‘f’ and ‘p’. This video takes you through exactly how to make the ‘p’ and ‘f’ sounds and shows you the different positions to put your tongue and mouth in.
Looks like an ‘f’ but is not
If you read something printed before the 19th century it may seem as if the letter f was used much more frequently back then.
(Excerpt from the title page of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, first published in 1668).
However, it was just the way that the lower case ‘s’ used to be written when it appeared at the start or the middle of a word. Too much confusion between ‘f’ and ‘s’ was occurring, so just over 200 years ago the ‘s’ was changed to always appear as it does today.
‘I Spy’ words
‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ is a great game to play to reinforce the sound that a letter makes and it can be a fun game to kill some time – for example on a long car trip.
Here is a selection of short words starting with ‘f’ for you to use:
fog, fan, fox, fur, face, farm, feet, fern, fig, five, flag, flea, fish, fist, foam, frog, flip flop, food, four, form, flower.
This letter f worksheet gives your child lots of opportunities to practice writing capital F.
This letter f worksheet focuses on the lower case letter f.
This letter f worksheet gives your child an introduction to the basic sound that ‘f’ makes, and also allows them to practice writing the capital and lower case letter f.
Quite a few simple English words contain the ‘fr’ sound – this worksheet gives your child the chance to practice reading it.
The ‘fl’ sound is also encountered quite frequently and this worksheet gives six examples of it.