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7.17: Silent Final <e> as an Insulator

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Silent Final <e> as an Insulator

1. A final <e> marks a preceding vowel as being _________ in the patterns VCe and Ve#; it marks a _____ or ____ right in front of it as being soft; it marks a ____ right in front of it as being voiced.

Besides these functions, silent final <e> is used to keep certain letters from coming at the end of a word. When a final <e> does this, it is insulating the letter.

2. \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*}<u> and <v>. In English we avoid ending words with the letters \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*}<u> or <v>. Many words have a silent final <e> simply to keep them from ending with a \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*}<u> or <v>. Here are some words in which silent final <e> is simply insulating a \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*}<u> or a <v>:

\begin{align*}&\text{achieve} && \text{reserve} && \text{league} && \text{tongue}\\ &\text{morgue} && \text{nerve} && \text{expensive} && \text{mosque}\\ &\text{technique} && \text{starve} && \text{dissolve} && \text{love}\end{align*}achievemorguetechniquereservenervestarveleagueexpensivedissolvetonguemosquelove

Sort the words into these two groups:

3. \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s> and <z>. Just as we avoid ending words with \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*}<u> or <v>, we also avoid ending free bases with a single \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s>. The letter \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s> is so common as a suffix that if we were to end free bases with it, the free base would look like a plural noun or like a verb with the -s suffix. For instance, without a silent final <e> dense would look like dens, the plural of den. And without its silent final <e>, moose would look like the verb moos, as in “That cow moos all day long.” So we avoid ending free bases with a single \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s>, and we sometimes do so by insulating the \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s> with a silent final <e>, as in dense and moose.

The letters \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s> and <z> are very closely related to one another. In fact, the sound [z] is spelled \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s> more often than it is spelled <z>. So just as we avoid ending free bases with a \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}<s>, we avoid ending them with a single <z>. We sometimes use a final <e> to insulate a single <z>. For example, all the final <e> is doing in the word bronze is insulating the <z> so that it does not come at the end.

4. Divide the following words into the four groups:

\begin{align*}&\text{worse} && \text{glimpse} && \text{tongue} && \text{dissolve} && \text{gauze}\\ &\text{squeeze} && \text{starve} && \text{mosque} && \text{purchase} && \text{expensive}\\ &\text{nerve} && \text{clause} && \text{mouse} && \text{adjective} && \text{technique}\\ &\text{league} && \text{reserve} && \text{bronze} && \text{sneeze} && \text{clubhouse}\end{align*}worsesqueezenerveleagueglimpsestarveclausereservetonguemosquemousebronzedissolvepurchaseadjectivesneezegauzeexpensivetechniqueclubhouse

5. So final <e> can insulate four different letters to keep them from the end of a free base or word. The four letters are _____, _____, _____, and _____.

6. The Functions of Silent Final <e>. In the patterns ____ and _________ silent final <e> marks a preceding vowel as being _______; it marks a preceding _____ or _____ as being soft, and it marks a preceding ________ as being voiced; final <e> is also used to insulate _____, _____, _____, and _____.

Word Bowl. Again, your job is to spell words from the letters on the pins. Rember that you can spell more than two words but you can use each of the ten letters only one time. If you can spell one ten-letter word using all the letters on the pins, you have scored a strike, which gives you a total of twenty points, the highest possible score. If you can spell two words that use up all ten letters, you have scored a spare, which gives you a total of fifteen. If you don't get a strike or spare, you get one point for each letter of the word or words you spell, up to nine points.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Oct 09, 2015
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