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10.6: Lesson Thirty

Created by: CK-12

Long <o> and the VCC Pattern

1. You have seen that the VCC pattern is very useful for marking short vowels. But because of things that happened hundreds of years ago in our language, long <o> often occurs in VCC patterns, where we would normally expect a short vowel, as in the words ghost and gold. In the following words underline the letters spelling [\bar {\mathrm{o}}] and the next two letters after the [\bar {\mathrm{o}}]:

& \text{beh\underline{old}} && \text{wh\underline{oll}y} && \text{b\underline{old}er} && \text{unf\underline{old}} && \text{b\underline{olt}ed} \\& \text{t\underline{oll}} && \text{c\underline{old}est} && \text{t\underline{old}} && \text{c\underline{olt}s} && \text{str\underline{oll}er} \\& \text{s\underline{old}ier} && \text{f\underline{olk}s} && \text{g\underline{old}en} && \text{sc\underline{old}ed} && \text{m\underline{old}y} \\& \text{r\underline{oll}er} && \text{kn\underline{oll}} && \text{rev\underline{olt}ed} && \text{f\underline{old}er} && \text{y\underline{olk}}

2. You should have found that in each word the first letter after the [\bar {\mathrm{o}}] was the same.That letter is <l>. You should have found that the second letter after the [\bar {\mathrm{o}}] was always one of four letters. Those four letters are <d>, <l>, <k>, and <t>.

3. With that information you should be able to sort the twenty words into the following four groups:

Group #1 Group #2 Group #3 Group #4
behold golden toll revolted folks
soldier unfold roller colts yolk
coldest scolded wholly bolted
bolder folder knoll
told moldy stroller

4. Long <o>, [\bar {\mathrm{o}}], is often spelled <o> in the VCC patterns <old>, <oll>, <olt>, and <olk>

5. Right in front of the consonant letters <ss> and <st> the letter <o> sometimes spells long <o> and sometimes it spells short <o>. Read the following words carefully and be sure you know how each is pronounced:

& \text{cost} && \text{most} && \text{blossom} && \text{postage} && \text{nostril} \\& \text{gross} && \text{foster} && \text{ghost} && \text{lost} && \text{hostess} \\& \text{possible} && \text{engross} && \text{gossip} && \text{post} && \text{hostile} \\& \text{costume} && \text{almost} && \text{bosses} && \text{utmost} && \text{engrossed}

Sort the words into this matrix:

Words with <oss> Words with <ost>
Words with long <o>

gross

engross

engrossed

most

almost

ghost

postage

post

utmost

hostess

Words with short <o>

possible

blossom

gossip

bosses

cost

costume

foster

lost

nostril

hostile

6. Sometimes the letter <o> in front of <th> spells short <o>, as in bother; sometimes it spells long <o>, as in both; and sometimes it spells short <\mathrm{u}>, [u], as in brother. Read each of the following words carefully and be sure you know how each is pronounced:

& \text{bothered} && \text{both} && \text{brother} && \text{clothing} && \text{cloth} \\& \text{nothing} && \text{mother} && \text{broth} && \text{quoth} && \text{otherwise} \\& \text{clothe} && \text{another} && \text{moth} && \text{smother} && \text{frothy}

Sort the words into these three groups:

Words in which the <o> before
[\bar {\mathrm{o}}] [o] [u]
clothe bothered nothing
both broth mother
clothing moth another
quoth cloth brother
frothy smother
otherwise

7. In a few words <o> before <th> spells long <o>, but usually it spells [o] or [u].

8. In this lesson you have looked at seven cases where <o>, sometimes spells long <o> in a VCC string. One case was <oth>. What were the other six?

& <old> && <olk> && <oll> && <olt> && <oss> && <ost>

Teaching Notes.

The reasons for long <o> in these settings is not well understood. The best we can do for now is a quick summary: Practically always <old> has long <o>, and <oss> has short <o>; usually <oth> has a short <o> or short <\mathrm{u}>; and <ost> has short <o> about half the time and long <o> the other half.

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1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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