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# 11.11: How Do You Spell [r]?

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## How Do You Spell [r]?

1. There are four different ways of spelling [r]. Underline the letters that spell [r] in the following words, and you should find all four spellings:

$& \text{b\underline{r}eathing} && \text{\underline{r}ecognize} && \text{\underline{r}eflection} && \text{su\underline{r}plus} \\& \text{acqui\underline{r}e} && \text{\underline{r}ema\underline{rr}ied} && \text{te\underline{rr}ify} && \text{su\underline{rr}ender} \\& \text{\underline{r}e\underline{wr}ote} && \text{co\underline{rr}ected} && \text{inte\underline{r}est} && \text{winte\underline{r}} \\& \text{\underline{wr}ong} && \text{alte\underline{r}nate} && \text{inte\underline{r}fe\underline{r}e} && \text{\underline{r}efe\underline{rr}ed} \\& \text{\underline{r}esignation} && \text{\underline{rh}yme} && \text{a\underline{r}ea} && \text{a\underline{rr}ived} \\& \text{\underline{wr}itten} && \text{inte\underline{r}p\underline{r}et} && \text{pionee\underline{r}} && \text{su\underline{rr}ound} \\& \text{\underline{rh}inoce\underline{r}os} && \text{f\underline{r}eedom} && \text{child\underline{r}en} && \text{inte\underline{rr}upt} \\& \text{\underline{r}eliance} && \text{\underline{wr}appings} && \text{inte\underline{r}mediate} && \text{lia\underline{r}}$

2. Sort the words into these four groups. Some words will go into more than one group:

Words in which [r] is spelled ...
<rh> <wr> <rr>
rhinoceros rewrite remarried referred
rhyme wrong corrected arrived
written terrify surround
wrapping surrender interrupt
Words in which [r] is spelled ...
<r>
breathing recognize interest surplus
acquire remarried interfere surrender
rewrote alternate area winter
resignation interpret pioneer referred
rhinoceros freedom children liar
reliance reflection intermediate

3. Now sort the twenty-three words in which [r] is spelled <r> into these three groups. Again, some words will go into more than one group:

Words with an <r> that spells an [r] that is ...
at the beginning of the word in the middle of the word at the end of the word
rewrote breathing acquire
resignation alternate interfere
reliance interpret pioneer
recognize freedom surrender
remarried interest winter
reflection interfere liar
referred area
children
intermediate
surplus

4. Based on the sample of words in this lesson, [r] is most often spelled _______ or ______

Word Histories. Colonel is a very odd word in that in it [r] is spelled <l>! Earlier colonel was pronounced more as it is spelled, [kolənel]. There was another closely related word spelled coronel and pronounced [kurənel]. For reasons that are not clear, the pronunciation of coronel became attached to the spelling of colonel. Except for its transferred pronunciation, the word coronel has disappeared, as has the original pronunciation of colonel.

A pronunciation has transferred from one word to another more than once in English. For instance, we used to have a verb pronounced [$\bar{\mathrm{a}}$k] and usually spelled ake;we also had ake's partner noun pronounced [$\bar{\mathrm{a}}$ch] and usually spelled ache. Over time the pronunciation of the verb became attached to the spelling of the noun, and the other spelling and pronunciation disappeared from our language. So now we have ache pronounced [$\bar{\mathrm{a}}$k] for both noun and verb.

Teaching Notes.

The sound [r] is spelled <r> or <rr> about $99\%$ of the time. But the VCV-VCC distinction between <r> and <rr> is not so clear as it is with other consonants. This fuzziness is caused by the strong effect that [r] has on any preceding vowel. As has been pointed out before, two Vce words like date and dare have quite different vowel sounds: That in date is a clear long $<\mathrm{a}>$, $[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]$, but that in dare is something between $[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]$ and [e], usually closer to the latter. This deviation from the normal VCV-VCC distinction complicates things somewhat, as will be seen in Lesson 14. For more on the spellings of [r], see AES, pp. 447-455.

Word Histories. Other noun-verb pairs that have survived include the following: bake, batch; break, breech; make, match; speak, speech; stick, stitch; wake, watch; wreak, wretch.

## Subjects:

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

Feb 23, 2012

Jan 26, 2015