Sight Words – The Complete Guide to Sight Words

The world of language is ever-evolving and one can indeed learn a lot many new things every day. English as a language is no different in this respect. You can come across new concepts and categories when you sit to learn them. Sight Words come under one such concept of English that we use regularly but are still unaware of. It is important for kids, in fact, everyone, to learn these as they are like the first pillar in the structure of language. They are small letter words that help you in proceeding towards the higher concepts of the language. And the best part is that it is no rocket science to learn these words and then bring them into use.

This article will tell you about all the basics of sight words, how are they different from other words, why do you need to learn them. It will also help in making this concept clear in your mind.

Sight Words

What are Sight Words?

Sight words, also known as high-frequency words, are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. Sight words make up about 75% of the words in beginner-level books, so learning them is essential for early reading fluency.

Some of the examples of this category are a, an, at, are, as, at, an, or, one, of, out, other, over, only, on, my, made, may make, more, many, most and many other such simple words.

What are Sights Words

How to Learn Sight Words in an Easy Way

To be honest, Sight words are difficult to learn and can be very confusing at times. So you need to find simple and easier tricks to learn and understand. Here are a few ways which you can adapt:

  • Take one step at a time and move gradually from easier words to harder words
  • Take the help of audios to understand them better
  • Try to mix them with games and find other innovative ways to make it more interesting
  • Take the help of examples and picture books
  • Show kids real life examples so that they can know the actual meaning of things
  • Read and play with these words daily
  • Engage all their senses

Sight Words A to Z

One of the best ways to remember these words is to learn them by differentiating them based on the alphabet. Mentioned below are all the words of this category from A to Z:

A: a, an, at, are, as, at, and, all, about, after

B: be, by, but, been

C: can, could, come

D: did, down, do

E: each

F: from, first, find, for

H: he, his, had, how, has, her, have, him

I: in, I, if, into, is, it, its

J: just

K: know

L: like long, little

M: my, made, may make, more, many, most,

N: not, no, now

O: or, one, of, out, other, over, only, on

P: people

S: said, she, some, so, see

T: the, to, they, this, there, them, then, these, two, time, then, that, their

U: up, use

V: very

W: was, with, what, were, when, we, which, will, would, words, where, water, who, way

Y: you, your

Once you learn them in this way then, as soon as the alphabet will come in front of you, you will be able to remember all the sight word that begins with it. And it will also simplify your process of learning.

Small Alphabet a to z / abcd / abcd video/ small letter abcd video - YouTube
Sight Words A to Z

What is the Difference Between Sight Words and High Frequency Words?

There are many closely knitted concepts in grammar. One of this kind is that of sight words and high-frequency words which are two such closely knitted concepts. Also, one can often find them similar and confusing at the same time. High-frequency words are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. Both types of words are closely linked. Sight words are words that are instantly recognized and identified without conscious effort. High-frequency words are the words most commonly used in the English language.

Davidson, Kimberly / High-Frequency Words
What’s the Difference Between Sight Words and High-Frequency Words?

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What are the similarities that they have?

They both are highly used words and play a huge role in English and sometimes they are crossly referred to each other. They are both like the backbone of the English language and help in making all kinds of sentences and paragraphs.

Reflection: Similarities & Differences EXAMPLE | bulb
What are the Similarities that they have

Some of the most highly used ones are


Some of the most commonly used Sight Words in English

Some Sight Words that You Need to Learn

Mentioned below are some basic sight words classified into different groups and will help you in understanding them better. They are also supported with examples so that you can learn them better:

Single Letter Sight Words

Single letter sight words are words that have only one letter to them. And its only examples are ‘A’ and ‘I’. They might have only a letter in them and appear small but are two of the most highly used words in the whole English language. Some of the examples are:

  • I am a boy and study in Delhi Public School.
  • He is working as a chef these days.
  • I am not habitual of speaking in French language.
  • There is a place named snake island and there are millions of snakes in it.
  • She is a very talented girl.

Two Letter Sight Words

These are made with the combination of two words. They are small and hence very simple to learn and remember. And the best part is that they help in properly conveying the message. Some two lettered ones are: an, at, as, at, be, by, do, he, in, if, is, it, no, or, on, to, we. Sentences to understand them better are:

  • An Apple fell on the head of Einstein.
  • It is not easy to be a hard working person.
  • He will arrive at the metro station in ten minutes.
  • Study well now or you will regret it later.
  • He was unable to perform his best in the internal exams.

Three Letter Sight Words

Sight words made with the combination of three letters fall in this category. There are a huge number of three-lettered sight words some of its examples are: and, all, but, can, did, for, his, had, how, has, her, him, its, may, not, now, one, out, she, see, the, two, use, was, who, way, yes. Examples are:

  • He studied hard for the exam but still didn’t pass.
  • The two of them make a really good team.
  • She is the smartest girl in her class.
  • I was unable to reach the class in time.
  • Who was the girl driving the car?

Four Letter Sight Words

Then some sight words are made with the combination of four letters. Some of its examples are: been, down, each, from, find, have, into, just, know, like, long, made, make, more, many, most, over, only, said, some, they, this, them, then, time, than, that, very, with, what, were, when, your. Sentences to understand them are:

  • She is very hardworking and smart at the same time.
  • When is my order going to arrive?
  • School days are some of the best days of your life.
  • The only way to learn is to practice.
  • You will not understand the value of something till it is lost.

Five Letter Sight Words

Sight words that are made with the combination of five letters fall in this category. They can get a little complex but are still easy to understand. Some of its examples are: about, after, could, first, there, words, water, would, which, etc. Sentences for best understanding are:

  • There are different types of living organisms on this planet.
  • Water is the most important thing for survival.
  • Life should be more about happiness and less about sadness.
  • Which is your favorite book to read?
  • Words are the best way to convey feelings.

Words Above Five Letters

Many words are made with a combination of more than five words. Remembering them can get difficult and that is why they should be the last tier while learning. Some of its examples are: although, called, etc. Sentence to help you understand them better are:

  • They are talking in a good way although they are not very fond of each other.
  • The big cats are also called Tigers.
  • Although I disliked the detective heartily, I nevertheless was secretly impressed.
  • Although there is nothing too extraordinary about her but one or two of her accomplishments are invaluable.
  • The teacher called the boy to the front.

The video mentioned below will help you learn the basics.

100 basic Sight words for children to learn

Fun games that will help you understand Sight Words better

Aren’t games the best way to teach something to kids as it makes the thing fun and learnable at the same time? So why not inculcate them while teaching them these words. Here are some fun games that you can make kids play while teaching the basics :

Sight Words Bingo

Bingo is a game that we all know how to play. You just need to modify it according to yourself. Take a sheet and then get some of these words printed on it. And then start playing it like you generally play the game. Ask every person in the round to call out one word and the one who has words cancelled in a line will win the game. By this, they will be able to remember these words properly.

Sunday Bingo – Supporting the Cypress High School Athletics Booster Club
Sight Words Bingo

Play Four in a Row with These Words

This game will not only help your child in learning these words but also improve their reading ability. The rules of the game are similar to the popular game Connect4. To play this game they must read a sight word correctly before they can place a marker on the game board. You can use different flashcards in it. Hence, it is a perfect game to be played by four to six people.

Play four in a row with sight words

Tic Tac Toe

Then comes another very popular game tic-tac-toe. You might be wondering that it is a game of ‘O’ and ‘X’ then how can you inculcate words in it. In this game before reading a sight word correctly, they will not be given a chance to place an X or O on the game board. By doing this they will be able to learn it and enjoy the game at the same time.

Sight words tic tac toe

Play Dominoes with Sight Words

The very simple way to play this game is to replace the dots on the block with these words. And then place them accordingly. All you need to do is to build a string of domino cards by matching a word on your domino to one of the words on the domino path. To make it simpler keep the set of words small so that kids can learn them more easily.

100+ Free Domino & Dominoes Images
Play Dominoes with sight words

Sight Words Bean Bag Toss

The very last game that you can make kids play with these words is a Bean Bag. The main aim of Bean Bag Toss is to provide continued exposure to a set of words, with opportunities for repetition and confidence building. Make flashcards place them on the floor and then throw bean bags on them. The physical elements of the game will also help in enhancing the fidgeting skills of kids.

11 of the Best Bean Bags for Play, Fun and Relaxation - Fractus Learning
Sight words bean bag toss

This video will help in making this concept super easy and fun for the kids.

Sight words games for a better understanding of the concept

Q1. How do I teach my 4-year-old new words?

Teaching things to a kid can be very different from teaching things to adults and you need to be very simple with your approach. To begin with, you need to find simple books and hand them to them. You can support the teachings with audio. And the best thing that you can do is to inculcate them into games and teach them in different innovative ways.

Q2. How do you incorporate these words in a sentence?

You can make sentences with these words as you make them with any other words. Some of the examples in a sentence are mentioned below:

  • I can see the car.
  • My bike can go.
  • The bus can go.

Q3. Why are sight words important to learn?

A language is not only about writing but reading as well and learning these words is important as they help in improving your reading ability. Sight words provide clues to the context of the text. Once you learn them you will be able to read sentences and paragraphs more easily. And eventually, your ability to form sentences will also get better.

Q4. What words are high frequency words and in what terms are they different from other words?

High-frequency words are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by seeing so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. Both types of words are closely linked. Sight words are words that are instantly recognized and identified without conscious effort. High-frequency words are the words most commonly used in the English language.

Both categories of words help in serving different purposes and are learned in different ways.

Q5. What sight words should be taught first?

Simple sight words should be taught first and then move to complex words. Some simple sight words to be taught first are: he, was, that, she, on, they, but, at, with, all,  this, will, yes, went, are, now, no, came, ride, into and few similar like that.

Q6. What is the best way to teach sight words?

There are many other ways by which you can teach sight words to your kids. Like using flashcards, using audios, giving them a lot of examples, and inculcating them in a form of games. By following all these things you will be able to make the process a lot more fun. Mentioned below are some steps you can follow to teach things properly:

  1. Expose your child to sight words early on.
  2. Make read-alouds more interactive.
  3. Engage all of their senses.
  4. Sort sight words into categories.
  5. Read and play with sight words daily.

Q7. Why are sight words difficult to learn and understand?

Sight words are not very difficult but can be a little complex and confusing at times. They are difficult because words are learned by their shape or picture so it can confuse you. But with practice, you can overcome it easily.

Q8. What are some of the hardest sight words to learn?

Some of the hardest sight words are although, another, caught, could, course, country, etc.

Q9. Do flashcards work for sight words?

Flashcards have been a part of the teaching process for a very long time and can play a good role in teaching sight words. Steps to follow while using flashcards a device to teach them new things:

  1. At first, show your child just one or two cards at a time.
  2. Say the word clearly, spell it aloud as you point to each letter.
  3. Most importantly, use the word in meaningful ways.
  4. Emphasize the word UP in your everyday conversations.

Q10. What mistakes should be avoided while teaching someone these words?

The only mistake that you can make is making the concept complex. You should try to keep things as simple as possible and support them with as many examples as possible. Don’t skip from one concept to another and try to keep things connected and take one step at a time. These are all the things that you should avoid doing while learning these words or any kind of words.

Final Thoughts on Sight Words

Learning English has become a necessity these days, no matter where you live. Because this language has most speakers in the world and only this language can help you in communication if you ever go to a place where your mother tongue is not spoken. It is not important to you to learn it to the very core but being clear about the basics is very important. So that you can at least convey and properly receive the message.

Sight words are so important that you must be very clear about them because they are a part of everything else and higher-level concepts. With this article you will be able to understand them properly and with little practice, you will be able to master them. So, don’t waste any more time and start your language learning journey now. To understand more such concepts, head to the Podium Blog to build and enhance your knowledge.

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