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10.17: How Do You Spell [n]?

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

How Do You Spell [n]?

1. We will examine six different ways of spelling [n]. But first see how many you can think of and try to write a word that contains each spelling. If you can't think of all six, don't worry too much about it:

a. Sometimes [n] is spelled <n> as in the word balance, etc..

b. Sometimes [n] is spelled <nn> as in the word announce, etc.

c. Sometimes [n] is spelled <gn> as in the word sign, etc.

d. Sometimes [n] is spelled <kn> as in the word knew, etc.

e. Sometimes [n] is spelled <pn> as in the word pneumonia.

f. Sometimes [n] is spelled <mn> as in the word mnemonic.

2. Think about the consonant sounds you have worked with so far, and answer these questions:

a. How do you think the sound [n] is usually spelled? <n>

b. What would you expect to be the next most common spelling of [n]? <nn>

3. Now underline the letters that spell [n] in the following words:

& \text{bala\underline{n}ce} && \text{\underline{n}uisa\underline{n}ce} && \text{ca\underline{n}didate} && \text{co\underline{n}clusio\underline{n}} \\& \text{imme\underline{n}se} && \text{colum\underline{n}ist} && \text{immu\underline{n}ity} && \text{dictio\underline{n}ary} \\& \text{efficie\underline{n}t} && \text{judgeme\underline{n}t} && \text{solem\underline{n}ity} && \text{coupo\underline{n}} \\& \text{eco\underline{n}omics } && \text{bu\underline{n}dle} && \text{\underline{n}ourishme\underline{n}t} && \text{isla\underline{n}d} \\& \text{\underline{n}onalcoholic} && \text{e\underline{n}ormous} && \text{diamo\underline{n}ds} && \text{u\underline{n}derexposed}

4. How is [n] spelled in all of these words? <n> . Usually [n] is spelled this way – about nine times out of ten, in fact!

5. You have seen that double consonants, such as <nn>, can be caused by twinning or assimilation or simple addition. Sometimes twinning can cause an <nn>: fan + n + ing = fanning. Sometimes assimilation can cause an <nn>: a\cancel{d} + n + nounce = announce, and co\cancel{m} + n + nect = connect. And simple addition can cause an <nn> when an element that starts with <n> is added to another element that ends with <n>: un + named = unnamed, and stubborn + ness = stubbornness..

6. All of the following words contain an <nn> that is caused by one of the three things described above. Analyze each word enough to show where the two <n>'s come from. Then in the ‘Cause’ column write the cause for the <nn> in each word — either “Twinning,” “Assimilation,” or “Simple Addition”:

Words = Analysis Cause
announce = a\cancel{d} + n + nounce Assimilation
connect = co\cancel{m} + n + nect Assimilation
innocent = in + nocent Simple addition
tinny = tin + n + y Twinning
unnourishing = un + nourishing Simple addition
nonnuclear = non + nuclear Simple addition
skinny = skin + n + y Twinning
unnecessary = un + necessary Simple addition
nonnative = non + native Simple addition
innumerable = in + numerable Simple addition
beginner = begin + n + er Twinning
commonness = common + ness Simple addition
annihilate = a\cancel{d} + n + nihilate Assimilation
unnodding = un + nodding Simple addition
annex = a\cancel{d} + n + nex Assimilation
annul = a\cancel{d} + n + nul Assimilation
nonnoble = non + noble Simple addition
suddenness = sudden + ness Simple addition
connive = co\cancel{m} + n + nive Assimilation
beginning = begin + n + ing Twinning
cannot = can + not Simple addition
stubbornness = stubborn + ness Simple addition
sunniest = sun + n + \cancel{y} + i + est Twinning
twinned = twinned Twinning

7. So far you have examined two different ways to spell [n]: <n> and <nn>.

The sound [n] is spelled these two ways about ninety-nine times out of a hundred!

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. The <gn> spelling of [n] is discussed in Lesson 43. The <kn>, <pn>, and <mn> spellings are discussed in Lesson 44, For more on the spelling [n], see AES, pp. 429-35.

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