# Revision history [back]

There are three possibilities with regards to the onset:

1. it is empty (the syllable starts with a vowel rather than a consonant)
2. it consists of just one consonant sound
3. it consists of multiple consonant sounds, commonly referred to as a 'cluster'

Some languages do not allow empty onsets, whereas others do not allow clustered onsets. English is an example of a language that allows all three types.

Examples of onsets consisting of multiple consonant sounds:

• 'speak' [spi:k], where the onset is [sp].
• 'strap' [stræp], where the onset is [str]