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12.17: Something About < gu > and < gh >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Something About <gu> and <gh>

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

2. Sometimes when a [g] sound has an <e>, <\text{i}>, or <y> right after it, the [g] sound will be spelled <g> with an insulating <\text{u}> standing between the <g> and the <e>, <\text{i}>, 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:

& \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}

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 <\text{u}>. 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 <\text{u}> is sometimes used after <g> to spell [g] before <e>, <\text{i}>, or <y>. There are a few words where [g] is actually spelled <gu> in front of <\text{a}>:

\text{guarantee} && \text{guard} && \text{safeguard} && \text{guardian}

Originally these words were spelled with no <\text{u}> in English. The <\text{u}> was added in the 16^{th} 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.

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Jan 16, 2015
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