English Grammar And Writing

Phonetic Spelling

Image
In this lesson, we will learn about some of the unusual and complex phonetic spelling patterns that are part of the English language, including digraphs and silent letters.

English Phonetics

While many languages, such as Spanish, German and Polish, are considered phonetic languages, others, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Swiss-German are not.

What about English? English falls somewhere in the middle. Sound/symbol relationships and spelling patterns exist in English, but there are also many words that do not sound at all the way they are spelled. Let's examine phonetic spelling in English.

Definition

What is phonetic spelling? Simply put, phonetic spelling is spelling words the way they sound. While each letter in English is assigned at least one sound, there are lots of letters or letter combinations that are pronounced differently in different words.

For example, the letter 'p' is frequently assigned the /p/ as in the word 'paper,' however, if it is paired with the letter 'h,' as in 'phone,' the 'ph' together make the /f/. Similarly, the letter 's' usually makes the /s/ as in 'soup,' but when it is paired with the /h/ in the word 'ship,' it makes a unique sound that is similar to one that is heard in 'echador,' a Spanish word.

Digraphs

'Ph' and 'sh' are digraphs. Digraphs are letters that sound differently when they are paired together. The following chart provides examples of digraphs:

  • ch:: cheese
  • gh:: rough
  • ng:: sing
  • ng:: sing
  • ph:: sphere
  • qu:: queen
  • sh:: show
  • th:: that

Silent Letters

Another anomaly with the English language is the use of silent letters. Let's look at some of the more common silent letters:

  • gn:: gnat
  • kn:: knit
  • mb:: climb
  • bt:: debt
  • sc:: scent
  • nd:: handkerchief
  • ch:: echo
  • mn:: hymn
  • ps:: psychology
  • wr:: wrap

Other Unusually Spelled Words

These are just some of the odd spellings that occur in the English language. There are only 44 identified sounds, but more than a thousand ways to spell them. Even if every spelling rule was memorized, there are still some individual words that would need to be learned.

For example:

  • Island has a silent 's.'
  • Jeopardy has a silent 'o'
  • Colonel is pronounced similarly to the word '~kernel.'

  Umbreen Aleem   Thursday, 02 Jan 2020   20 Views

Share This Post

Share This Post

Life Style

262 days Views: 495

Yoga and Your Health

Entertainment

272 days Views: 289

Angelina Jolie Legend Spell

Entertainment

611 days Views: 199

Liam Hemsworth