CVC Word Lists – Free Printables

CVC words are some of the simplest words in the English language and beginning readers need lots of practice reading them before they’re introduced to more complex words. 

They can also make ideal phonemic awareness word lists for blending and segmenting practice.

However, it can sometimes be difficult to think up enough examples of CVC words on the spot.  That’s why we’ve made several sets of free printable CVC word lists for you like the examples below. 

CVC word family

Our short vowel lists contain common word families.

Free Printable CVC Word Lists…

Our lists are ordered in a variety of ways so you can use them for different purposes.  See our guidance notes below for more information about these lists.

If you would like more information about using CVC words, see our article about teaching phonics.

You might also find our free CVC segmenting worksheets useful.

CVC Words in Alphabetical Order 

A comprehensive list of common and less familiar CVC words.

CVC words in alphabetical order
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Over 120 Common CVC Words in Random Order

Good for assessing progress.  Your child will have to concentrate more carefully to read these words because they aren’t arranged in an obvious pattern. 

Common CVC words in random order
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CVC Words Containing ‘Short a’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short a.
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CVC Words Containing ‘Short e’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short e
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CVC Words Containing ‘Short i’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.    

CVC Words containing short i
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CVC Words Containing ‘Short o’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short o.
Click on the image to view and download the pdf document.

CVC Words Containing ‘Short u’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short u.
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CVC Words – Swapping Vowels

Groups of CVC words where only the vowels differ.  For example, bag, beg, big, bog and bug…

CVC Words - swapping vowels
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Short Words Containing ‘ck’

These aren’t strictly CVC words, but they contain the same pattern of sounds as CVC words.  They can be read in the same way if you instruct your child that ‘ck’ just represents one sound.

Short words containing ck
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Guidance Notes...

All of the words in our lists are real words (or at least Scrabble words) and many of them are common, but some are abbreviations and a few have informal spellings or they are slang words.  However, they are all words that can appear in literature.  (We’ve tried to avoid any potentially rude words, although meanings can differ in different locations). 

In the beginning, it’s best to stick to words that your child is familiar with.  But once they become more fluent, you can also let them try some words they haven’t heard before. 

This is important because unusual words can appear often in children’s literature (particularly for fictional character or place names).  Your child might also be tested with pseudo / nonsense words in a phonics check at school.

You will notice that we’ve included words that start with ‘qu’.  These aren’t strictly CVC words because they have an extra letter.  But many phonics programmes teach the letter combination ‘qu’ as if it’s an individual letter because q and u almost always appear together in words.

Also note that some of the words might have a different sound for the letter ‘u’ in some accents.  For example the word ‘put’ might have a different vowel sound than the one in ‘cup’.   Just use the sounds that are normal for your local accent and let your child know that the same letter can sometimes represent more than one sound.

It’s important to start your child with words that contain the most common letter-sound relationships initially.  So all of the words in our lists contain the ‘short’ vowel sounds found in words such as ‘cat’, ‘bed’, ‘pig’, ‘dog’ and ‘cup’.  We’ve also avoided words where the consonants represent alternative sounds, such as in the word ‘gym’.

We’ve compiled a list of words to avoid with beginning readers below:

  • bah, bar, bay, bey, bow, boy, bur, buy,
  • car, caw, cig, cor, cow, coy,
  • dah, day, dew, duh,
  • far, Fay, few, fey, fir, for, fur,
  • gay, gel, gem, gib, gin, gor, guy, gym,
  • hah, has, hay, her, hew, hey, his, how, hoy, huh,
  • jar, jaw, jay, Jew, joy,
  • Kay, key,
  • lar, law, lay, low,
  • mar, maw, may, mew, mic, mow,
  • nah, nay, new, nor, now,
  • pah, par, paw, pay, per, pew, pow, pur,
  • quad, quay,
  • rah, raw, ray, reg, row,
  • saw, say, sew, sir, son, sow, soy,
  • tar, ton, tor, tow, toy,
  • veg, vow,
  • wan, war, was, way, won, wow,
  • yah, yar, yaw, yay, yew,

If you found the resources on this page helpful, you might also like our free CVC segmenting worksheets.

Click on the following link to access some of our other free phonics and phonological awareness worksheets and printable resources.