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15.1: How Do You Spell [s]?

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

How Do You Spell [s]?

1. You can hear the sound [s] at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the word success. In success [s] is spelled three different ways: <\text{s}>, <c>, and <ss>. About 97% of time [s] is spelled one of those three ways.

Underline the letters that spell [s] in each of the following words:

&\text{scratch} && \text{immigrants} && \text{smoky} && \text{situation}\\&\text{asphalt} && \text{collapse} && \text{mathematics} && \text{radius}\\&\text{impulse} && \text{demonstrate} && \text{immense} && \text{analysis}\\&\text{status} && \text{schedule} && \text{scandal} && \text{distinguish}\\&\text{adults} && \text{dangerous} && \text{destroy} && \text{courageous}\\&\text{dispatch} && \text{desserts} && \text{congested} && \text{symphony}\\&\text{instruction} && \text{squeezed} && \text{seizure} && \text{emphasis}

2. Sort the twenty-eight words into the following three groups. Some words go into more than one group:

3. In all of these words [s] is spelled _______. The sound [s] is spelled this way about 75% of the time.

4. The <\text{s}> spelling of [s] often occurs in consonant clusters - that is, with one or more consonants before or after it. Nineteen of the words above contain [s] spelled  <\text{s}> in a consonant cluster. List the words in the blanks below and underline the cluster that contains the <\text{s}> that spells [s] in it:

5. We often use a silent final <e> to insulate a single <\text{s}> so that it does not come at the end of a base and look like an -s suffix - as in words like lapse and tense (compare the plurals laps and tens). Very few free bases end in [s] spelled with a single <\text{s}>. The only common ones are this, bus, us, gas, canvas, chaos, sis, plus, yes.

Usually when the <\text{s}> spelling of [s] comes at the very end of a word without the insulating final <e>, it is either the -s suffix - as in verbs like obstructs or plural nouns like contracts - or it is part of a suffix like -ous, -us, or -ics - as in words like courageous, radius, and mathematics. Analyze the following words into stem plus suffix:

Word = Stem + Suffix
instructs = +
courageous = +
mathematics = +
status = +
scandalous = +
adults = +
immigrants = +
dangerous = +
chorus = +
radius = +

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Jan 16, 2015
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