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15.5: Sometimes [s] is Spelled <c>, Sometimes <sc>

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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1. The sound [s] is spelled \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*} or <ss> about eight times out of ten. The rest of the time it is usually spelled <c>.

The letter <c> spells the sound [s] only when it is followed by the letters _______, _______, or _______ . When the letter <c> spells the sound [s], it is called _____________________.

2. Whenever <c> spells [s], there will be an <e>, \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, or <y> following it. But the problem is that often [s] is spelled with an \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*} with an <e>, \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, or <y> after it, too. Read the following pairs of words aloud and look at how [s] is spelled in each of them:

\begin{align*} &\text{sell} && \text{cell}\\ &\text{sent} && \text{cent}\\ &\text{serial} && \text{cereal}\\ &\text{site} && \text{cite}\\ &\text{symbol} && \text{cymbal}\end{align*}

Words like the ones in each of these pairs are called homophones. Homo- means “same,” and phone means “sound.” Homophones are two or more words that have the same sound but different meanings and spellings. Can you think of a third homophone for sent and cent and a third for site and cite?

3. Underline the letters that spell [s] is each of the following words:

\begin{align*} &\text{perceive} && \text{certainty} && \text{emergency} &&\text{reduce}\\ &\text{icily} && \text{prejudice} && \text{deception} && \text{icy}\\ &\text{introducing} && \text{dependence} &&\text{conscience} &&\text{criticism}\\ &\text{receipt} && \text{balance} && \text{produce} && \text{ceiling}\\ &\text{citizen} && \text{decision} && \text{secession} && \text{accelerate}\\ &\text{advancing} && \text{juicy} && \text{assurance} &&\text{piece}\end{align*}

4. Sort the words into these three groups:

5. The <sc> spelling of [s] is very rare, but it does occur in a few common words. Underline all of the different spellings of [s] in the words below:

\begin{align*} &\text{susceptible} && \text{scissors} && \text{descent} && \text{science}\\ &\text{abscess} && \text{discipline} && \text{ascend} && \text{scenic}\\ &\text{scent} && \text{ascertain} && \text{fascinate} && \text{scythe}\\ &\text{scientific} && \text{condescension} && \text{discern} && \text{fluorescent}\end{align*}

6. Now sort the sixteen words into these three groups:

7. Four ways of spelling [s] are _______, _______, _______, and _______.

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