Lesson 2: Reading Syllables and Simple Words.

Привіт-привіт, my dear students!

Welcome to the 2nd lesson of the course “From Absolute Beginner to a Confident Speaker”. We will learn with you today how to read Ukrainian syllables. Let`s get it started!

syllable is a part of a word that contains a single vowel sound and is pronounced as a unit. So, for example, “син” has one syllable, and “книга” has two syllables. Let`s get it started!

Exercise 1. Let`s practice reading the Ukrainian syllables one more time. I highly recommend you read the syllables from the picture, listen to the audio below, and repeat after me several times. 

Exercise 2. Also, I would like to ask you additionally to watch my video lesson about the soft sign and how to pronounce it correctly.

Exercise 3. Apostrophe.

In Ukrainian, the apostrophe is a diacritical (“distinguishing”) mark. The apostrophe’s primary function is to separate a hard consonant from an iotated vowel so that sounds don’t influence each other. The apostrophe shows that the previous consonant is hard and the following vowel (я, ю, є, ї) consists of two sounds (й+а, й+у, й+е, й+і).

Let`s practice reading Ukrainian words with apostrophes:

  • П’ять – five
  • здоров’я – health
  • м’ясо – meat
  • зв’язок – communication
  • сім’я – family
  • бур’ян – weed
  • кур’єр – courier
  • під’їхати – drive up
  • з’єднати – connect
  • з’їхати – to leave


Exercise 1 (Вправа 1):  Listen to the syllable or word and choose a correct variant.

Exercise 2 (Вправа 2):  Listen and complete the words with the missing syllables.

Exercise 3 (Вправа 3): How many syllables are there in the words given below.

Exercise 4 (Вправа 4):  Listen and write down the number of syllables in each word. Divide the words into the syllables.

Exercise 5 (Вправа 5):  Listen and write down the syllables you hear, making words. Translate the words.

Exercise 6 (Вправа 6): Use an apostrophe (’) where it is necessary. Translate the words.

Мята, мрія, кавярня, любов, піря, девять, лялька, імя, буряк, цвях, сімя, мяч, моряк, лілія, свято, пять, ключ, компютер.

Write down your answer from Exercise 6 in the chat on Telegram for the tutor to check on your grammar understanding.

Exercise 7 (Вправа 7): Translate the sentences into Ukrainian. Pay your attention to the underlined words.

1. This is a mother. 2. That is a father. 3. Here is a school. 4. There is a university. 5. That is a dog. 6. This is a cat. 7. Here is a mango. 8. There is an avocado. 9. This is a woman. 10. That is a man. 11. There is a telephone. 12. Here is a laptop.

Record your answers from Exercise 3 and Exercise 7, send them to the chat on Telegram for the tutor to check on your pronunciation.

Print out the exercises (Lesson 2)

Answers (Lesson 2)

The 2nd lesson is finished! Well done! We did a great job – we read and listened to how to pronounce Ukrainian syllables, soft sign, and apostrophe. Now it is time to do your homework – a quiz. Good luck!

Homework assignment:

1. Practice reading the Ukrainian syllables. 

2. Record on audio your pronunciation of all syllables.

3. Learn by heart the Basic 33 Ukrainian Words from this lesson. Download the PDF file below. 

Basic Ukrainian Words from Lesson #2

You can listen to the pronunciation of the basic Ukrainian words here:

4. Do the quiz.