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16.15: How Do You Spell [ch]?

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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How Do You Spell [ch]?

1. About two-thirds of the time [ch] is spelled either <ch> or <tch>, and <ch> is about five times as common as <tch>. Underline the letters that spell [ch] in the following words:


2. Sort the words into the following matrix:

3. Among the words in Items 1 and 2, when [ch] comes (a) at the end of a free stem and following a stressed short vowel or (b) in a VCC string, it is spelled ___________; everyplace else it is spelled ___________.

4. On the basis of the analysis you've just done, be ready to discuss the following questions:

(i) Why can we say that <tch> behaves like a double <ch>?

(ii) What is unusual about the sounds in front of the <ch> in bachelor and treacherous? What rule did you recently learn that would explain the unusual sound in front of <ch> in these words?

(iii) What is there about the following six words that makes them holdouts to the pattern you've just found and described?


There is little we can say about these six, except that they are clear holdouts to an otherwise useful and reliable rule and that there are fortunately very, very few of them.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jan 16, 2015
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