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Home > Reading and Spelling Lessons & Word Lists> Word Lists Index >OY and OI


Words with OY and OI

Teach this by discovery -- dictate simple  "oy" words, student being fully aware that they are spelled "oy," and let it be noticed how many words end in oy... but it's not the end of the word, it's the end of the syllable that matters. Very, very few exceptions to this! Likewise, if those are the letters, that's the sound -- which is why it's the first combination of VV's taught. Nice, reliable combination :)

This is a comprehensive reference list, in alphabetical order.  You would not teach words that have other vowel pairs that haven't been learned yet, like employee.  Practice "enjoy" and the like a lot, as spelling words (see "five ways to practice spelling"), in case it's still hard to tell e from i.  It's a good time to mention the word part "en" and discuss words like enable, entwine, enlighten, etc.

One problem with some of these words is that you can't tell whether they're one syllable or two.  Royal and loyal should be practiced a *lot* together, not with spoil and boil.  (I usually say they're words that are so respected they get an extra syllable; that's easier to remember than thinking about the -al making them adjectives and all that.)

Hands On Activity:  Make an index card with 4 of each kind of word, without their oys or ois, like so:

b _____ l l_____  al

Make pieces of cards with "oi" and "oy" on them, like so:


 Have the student put them together.  This is a place where you could put 'boil' and 'loyal' together, because the second 'a' in loyal indicates that another syllable is starting.

Some students overgeneralize that if the next letter is a consonant, it's oi; if it's a vowel it's oy.  That doesn't work for words like boycott or oyster.  Make sure you have words like boycott in the exercises and discuss the patterns, and where the syllables divide.

These are in alphabetical order.

OY - OI Words 
ahoy gargoyle (an exception
to the c-l-e pattern)
android doily
alloy highboy anoint ellipsoid
annoy hoyden appoint embroider
arroyo joy asteroid embroil
bellboy loyal avoid enjoin
boy newsboy boil exploit
boycott overjoy boisterous foible***
boyish oyster broil foist
  paperboy celluloid goiter
boysenberry playboy charbroil groin
carboy ploy checkpoint hemorrhoid
clairvoyant royal choice hoi polloi ***
cloying soy and soybean   hoist
convoy soya cloister humanoid
corduroy tomboy coil hydrofoil
cowboy toy coin introit
coy troy colloid invoice
decoy voyage conjoin join
deploy voyeur counterpoise joint
destroy despoil joist
employee OI devoid loin
enjoy adenoid diploid loiter
envoy adjoin disappoint  
flamboyant adroit disjoin maladroit
foyer alkaloid


mastoid ointment quoins sequoia*  toil
meteoroid ovoid quoit sirloin toilet
midpoint paranoid recoil soil trapezoid
moiety*** parboil reconnoiter solenoid troika
moist poignant rejoice spheroid turmoil
mongoloid poinsettia rejoin spoil turquoise
needlepoint point rejoinder spoilt typhoid
noise poise rhomboid steroid voice
noisome poison roister tabloid void
oil potboiler roil tenderloin
oink purloin schizoid thyroid

*(skip this, you can spell it with y, which follows the rule)
*** these are the exceptions.  Not many, and they're strange.



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