Skip Navigation

12.17: Something About <gu> and <gh>

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
Turn In

Something About <gu> and <gh>

1. Usually when a <g> is followed by the letters <e>, \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, or <y>, it is pronounced _________ and is called ____________.

2. Sometimes when a [g] sound has an <e>, \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, or <y> right after it, the [g] sound will be spelled <g> with an insulating \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} standing between the <g> and the <e>, \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, or <y> to keep the <g> from looking as if it should be pronounced [j]. In a very few words the sound [g] is spelled <gh>, as in ghost. Underline the letters that spell [g] in the following words:

\begin{align*}& \text{gluey} && \text{colleague} && \text{disguise} && \text{guys} && \text{aghast} \\ & \text{ghastly} && \text{ghoulish} && \text{ghetto} && \text{ghosts} && \text{spaghetti} \\ & \text{plague} && \text{agriculture} && \text{agreements} && \text{guilty} && \text{dinghy} \\ & \text{baggage} && \text{luggage} && \text{toboggan} && \text{aggressive} && \text{ingredient} \\ & \text{league} && \text{suggestion} && \text{angles} && \text{bedraggled} && \text{boondoggle} \end{align*}

3. Now sort the words into these groups:

4. Also there is one common element that means “speech” and that contains the <g> spelling of [g] with an insulating \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*}. The element is logue. Remember that logue means “words or speech,” and be ready to discuss these questions:

If dia- means “two,” what is a dialogue?

If mono- means “one,” what is a monologue?

If pro- means “before,” what is a prologue?

What is a travelogue?

If cata- means “complete,” why is a catalogue called a catalogue?

Words that end <logue> can usually also be spelled <log>. Dialog, monolog, prolog, travelog, catalog, epilog are all correct spellings, too.

5. You've seen that an insulating \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} is sometimes used after <g> to spell [g] before <e>, \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, or <y>. There are a few words where [g] is actually spelled <gu> in front of \begin{align*}<\text{a}>\end{align*}:

\begin{align*}\text{guarantee} && \text{guard} && \text{safeguard} && \text{guardian}\end{align*}

Originally these words were spelled with no \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} in English. The \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} was added in the \begin{align*}16^{th}\end{align*} century, probably to reflect an older French spelling with <gu>, pronounced [gw].

Word Histories. Oddly, the Greek prefix epi- meant both “before” and “after.” So an epilogue is writing that comes at the end of a book (just the opposite of a prologue), but an epigraph is writing that comes at the beginning of a book.

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

Show Hide Details
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Oct 09, 2015
Files can only be attached to the latest version of section
Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original