In a nutshell
On its own, ‘h’ can generally be relied upon to be pronounced with a ‘h is for hat’ sound, but when it combines in letter pairings it is responsible for some of English’s most important and unique sounds.
Letter pairs ending in ‘h’
If you are familiar with some of our other letter worksheet pages, you may be surprised to see that this page has only three worksheets on it. This doesn’t mean that ‘h’ is an uncommon letter – in fact it is actually the fourth most widely used consonant in the language. In particular, mastering the ‘ch’, ‘sh’ and ‘th’ sounds are all crucial steps in learning to read. You can access these worksheets here:
Aitch not haitch!
Unless you live in Ireland, where ‘haitch’ is the standard pronunciation of the letter, we suggest you teach your child to pronounce it as ‘aitch’.Â ‘Aitch’ is the ‘correct’ pronunciation – however, more and more younger speakers say ‘haitch’. Most people have more important things to worry about, but a percentage of the population looks down upon those who say ‘haitch’ – so you might as well ensure your child avoids this disadvantage.
H at the start of words
Difficulties in pronouncing ‘h’ for new English speakers
For native English speakers, ‘h’ is usually a very easy sound to make. However, if English is not your child’s first language they may have a little bit of trouble. For example, if your child’s first language is French, and therefore they are used to making no sound at all for ‘h’, they might need some help to adjust to English. The following clip shows you exactly how to make the correct sound:
Fun drawing video
This video shows you how to draw a monster out of the letter h. It is quite clever and if your child likes drawing then you might like to see if they can copy the steps on the video – and in doing so you will reinforce the shape of capital h in their mind.
‘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 ‘h’ for you to use:
hat, ham, hen, horse, hut, herbs, hand, hall, hail, heel, head, hair, hill, house, hoop, hole, hood, horn, hoof, hose, hive, hotel, hospital
The Letter H Worksheets
This letter h worksheet gives your child lots of opportunities to practice writing capital H.
This letter h worksheet focuses on the lower case letter h.
This worksheet gives your child an introduction to the basic sound that ‘h’ makes, and also allows them to practice writing the capital and lower case letter h. Once your child is able to recognize the simple sound made by ‘h’, they will be on their way to being able to sound out simple words like ‘hot’ and ‘hen’.
This worksheet provides more practice with the basic sound of the letter h.