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# 11.15: Sometimes [r] is < wr >, Sometimes < rh >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## Sometimes [r] is <wr>, Sometimes <rh>

1. There are only two other spellings of [r] — and they occur in only very few words. The first of the two is <wr>. Several hundred years ago both the <r> and the <w> were pronounced, but in time people simplified things and quit pronouncing the <w>. Here are the most common words in which <wr> occurs:

writewrapwrenchwretchwrongwreckwrestlewringwrotewreathwrinklewrenwrittenwrathwristwriggle\begin{align*}& \text{write} && \text{wrong} && \text{wrote} && \text{written} \\ & \text{wrap} && \text{wreck} && \text{wreath} && \text{wrath} \\ & \text{wrench} && \text{wrestle} && \text{wrinkle} && \text{wrist} \\ & \text{wretch} && \text{wring} && \text{wren} && \text{wriggle}\end{align*}

You might try pronouncing the <w> and the <r> in some of these words, just to see what a mouthful they can be.

2. In what part of the word do you find the <wr>? _________. Three of the words have to do with putting words down on paper. The three are ________, ________, and _________. You can use a _________ to loosen a nut and bolt. When two cars run into on another, it is called a. Your hand is connected to your arm at the _________. At Christmas some people put a __________ on their door. You us an iron to remove __________ from your clothes. If an answer is not right, it is ___________.

3. Rewrite the sixteen <wr> words in alphabetical order:

3. Words in which [r] is spelled <wr> all come from the German side of our language's family. In some words that come from Greek [r] is spelled <rh>. The Greek alphabet contained a letter called rho, pronounced [rō] When Greek words were written in our alphabet, the rho was represented by <rh>. The most common words with <rh> are these:

rhymerheostatrhythmrhinestonerheumatismrhapsodyrhinocerosrhetoricrhubarb\begin{align*}& \text{rhyme} && \text{rhinestone} && \text{rhinoceros} \\ & \text{rheostat} && \text{rheumatism} && \text{rhetoric} \\ & \text{rhythm} && \text{rhapsody} && \text{rhubarb}\end{align*}

Arrange these nine words in alphabetical order:

4. In the word rhinoceros the first element, rhino, in Greek meant “nose,” and the second element, ceros, meant “horn.” So rhinoceros meant what? __________________________

5. In the word rhapsody the first element, rhaps, meant “stitch, sew,” and the second element, ody meant “song.” So rhapsody meant what? __________________________

6. You have worked with four ways of spelling [r]. They are ______, _______, _______, and ________. Of these four spellings which is the most common? _______. Which is the second most common? ________. Which are the two least common? ________ and _________.

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