When you are playing Words with Friends or Scrabble, it is important to understand how words are formed. You may look at your letter selections and realize that you have many more consonants than vowels. Fortunately, there are some consonant blends and combinations that can come to your rescue. There are even a few words made of consonants alone that are acceptable in most word games.
When you are playing a game where you must unscramble letters, you might assume that you will succeed by alternating consonants and vowels. However, there are some consonant combinations that you must take into account. Some of the most common consonant blends are at the beginning of words. Share, chance, small, snack, crab and blue are all good examples.
Words with Greek origins have combinations created by the ancient Greek alphabet. Pseudoscience includes a couple of blends. Philosophy has an f sound that comes from the Greek letter Phi. Chronology starts with a three-letter blend that was a two-letter blend in Greek, a combination of Chi and Rho.
There are also some common consonant combinations that you can find at the end of words. Trident, fish, communism and leech are all words that can help you get rid of a few tiles.
It is not a Scrabble cheat to place some double consonant words when you have too many copies of the same tile. The name Scrabble itself is a perfect example. Most double letters are found in the middle of a word where they sit at a break between syllables: dollar, fissure, hammer and furry. There are a few double letters that sit at the end of words: fall, less, watt and buzz. Even fewer words begin with two copies of the same consonant. These are mostly words borrowed from other languages like the Spanish word llama.
When push comes to shove, you may want to expand your vocabulary to include some all consonant words. There is some debate over what counts as a word with only consonants. You probably learned in school that the vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y. In words like gym, glyph, myth, and nymph, the letter y is acting as a vowel, but some people would say that these are all consonant words.
Another class of words with only consonants is onomatopoeic words. These are words that mimic sounds. Someone who is cold might say, Brr. Pfft is a common sound of dismissal. A curious person says, Hmm.
Finally, some consonant-only words have been handed to us from other languages. In Welsh, a cwm is a round valley often found in the mountains. From the same country, a crwth is a type of traditional fiddle.
When you know your consonant words, you have many more options to add to your word list. Your Scrabble and Word with Friends opponents will marvel at your ability to make words.