Two Other Spellings of [w]
1. Underline the letters that spell [w] in the following words:
2. You should have found two different spellings of [w]. Seven words have the first spelling; seventeen have the second. Sort the words into the following two groups:
3. Dictionaries usually give us a choice as to how we should pronounce <wh>: either [hw] or just [w]. You might check yourself: When you say whale, does it sound exactly like your pronunciation of wail? Or do you hear a little puff of air in front, a soft [h]? Hundreds of years ago, whale was spelled hwāl, and the <h> was pronounced [h]. But in time the spelling changed, probably to make it more like the other clusters <ch>, <gh>, <sh>, and <th>. The spelling changed, but the pronunciation more or less stayed the same. Over the centuries that [h] has tended to get lost. That is why dictionaries usually show two different pronunciaitons for <wh>: [w] and [hw].
4. Look at the seventeen words in which [w] is spelled <u>. In each one mark the letter that comes right in front of the <u> that is spelling [w]. You should have found four different consonants that come before the <u>. The first of the consonants is in thirteen of the words; the second is in two words, and the third and fourth are in one word each. Sort the words into the following groups
5. It is not surprising that [w] is often spelled <u>: The letter <w> was originally just two <u>s run together. That is why <w> is called “double-<u>.”
6. Three spellings of [w] are _____, _____, and _____. The spelling <w> always comes ___________________________________________. The spelling <u> usually comes after the letter _____ and sometimes after the letters _____, _____, or _____. The spelling <wh> is sometimes pronounced _____, sometimes _____.