The English language alone can provide a list of short vowel words that could seem to be never ending. A short vowel word is any word that does not allow the vowel within it to generate that vowel’s long vowel sound. For instance, the word bug is a short vowel word, because there is no long U sound. A word doesn’t necessarily have to have three letters to be a short vowel word, but it makes for the easiest example, and three-lettered words make up the bulk of any list of words with short vowels a person may comprise.
Words with only three letters are the easiest to make the short vowel sound out of, due to the fact that only having three letters typically doesn’t allow for a second vowel to force the long vowel sound. An obvious example of the exception would be words like bee or tea. These words use a second vowel to force the long vowel sound from the first one, while other words like ant or mat use the placement of consonants to force a short vowel sound. Some other three-lettered words that are considered short vowel words are:
act, apt, ask, bat, bad, bag, cat, cap, cab, dad, dab, Dan, fan, fat, fad, gap, gab, gal, gas, ham, has, had, hat, jab, jam, lab, lad, lag, lap, man, mad, mat, map, nap, pan, Pam, pad, pal, ran, ram, rag, rat, Sam, sad, sag, sat, sap, tab, tan, tad, tag, tap, van, vat, yam, zap
Ben, bed, beg, bet, den, fed, gem, get, gel, hen, hem, jet, Ken, keg, led, leg, let, men, met, net, pen, peg, pet, red, set, ten, Ted, vet, yet, wed, wet
bin, bid, big, bit, dim, did, dig, dip, fin, fig, fit, gin, gig, him, his, hid, hit, hip, jib, Jim, jig, jip, kin, Kim, kid, kit, lid, lit, lip, nip, pin, pig, pit, rim, rid, rig, rip, sin, sit, sip, tin, tip, win, wit, zip, zit
bop, con, cod, cog, cot, cop, Don, dog, dot, fog, God, got, hog, hot, jog, jot, lob, log, lot, lop, mob, mom, mop, nod, not, pod, pot, rod, rot, son, sod, ton, Tom, tot, top, won
bun, bum, bus, bud, bug, but, cud, cut, cup, dug, fun, gun, gum, Gus, gut, hum, hug, hut, jug, jut, lug, mug, nun, nut, pun, pug, pup, rub, run, rum, rug, rut, sub, sun, sum, tug
Though the above list of words with short vowels is incomplete, you can use it to understand the basic usage for the short vowel sound. These short vowel sounds are often used in larger words as well, including words that also contain long vowel sounds, or even in two-lettered words, like in, it, and at. Longer words, such as magistrate or fascinate, use both the short vowel sound and the long vowel sound.
Some words can use the short vowel sound and the long vowel sound depending on the tense of the word being used. Words like read, for example, are pronounced as the long vowel sound when the tense is present, as in “we are reading this list of short vowel words.” However, when the tense is changed from present to past-tense, the long vowel sound is taken away and the short vowel sound is introduced in the same word. For instance, we go from “reading” the list to “I have read the list of short vowel words, and understand much better now."