<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Skip Navigation

13.20: Sometimes [k] is Spelled < q >, Sometimes < qu >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
Turn In

Sometimes [k] is Spelled <q>, Sometimes <qu>

1. In a few words the letter <q> is used in the spelling of the sound [k]. The letter <q> always is followed by the letter \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*}. Sometimes the \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*} spells the sound [w] so that the <qu> spells [kw]. Sometimes the <qu> spells just [k]. Read the following words, paying special attention to whether the <qu> in each spells [kw] or just [k]:

\begin{align*}& \text{antique} && \text{conquest} && \text{consequently} && \text{mosquito} && \text{requirement} \\ & \text{earthquake} && \text{equality} && \text{equipment} && \text{squadron} && \text{square} \\ & \text{equivalent} && \text{physique} && \text{exquisite} && \text{frequently} && \text{squirrel} \\ & \text{liquor} && \text{liquid} && \text{unique} && \text{request} && \text{squeak} \\ & \text{quantity} && \text{quarrel} && \text{question} && \text{vtechnique} && \text{subsequently} \\ & \text{quickly} && \text{picturesque} && \text{quietly} && \text{quotation} && \text{squeeze} \end{align*}

2. Sort the words into these two groups:

Words in which <qu> spells ...
[kw] [k]
earthquake consequently quotation antique
equivalent equipment requirement liquor
quantity exquisite square physique
quickly question squirrel picturesque
conquest quietly squeak unique
equality squadron subsequently mosquito
liquid frequently squeeze turquoise
quarrel request

3. In words in which <qu> spells [kw], the \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*} spells [w], so [k] is spelled <q>. But in words in which the \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*} does not spell [w], [k] is spelled <qu>.

4. Whether it’s spelling [kw] or [k], <qu> nearly always comes at the very beginning or the very end of the element it is in.

In the thirty words above there are eleven in which the the [k] spelled either <q> or <qu> is the first or the last sound in the word. When it comes at the end, it has a silent final <e> insulating the \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*}. Find the eleven words and copy them into the table below.

Words in which the [k] spelled <q> or <qu> is the ...
first sound in the word last sound in the word
quantity question antique unique
quickly quietly physique technique
quarrel quotation picturesque

5. When the [k] is not the first or last sound of the word it is in, it nearly always is the first or last sound of the element it is in. For instance, earthquake is earth + quake, with the [k] spelled <q> the first sound in the free stem quake. Analyze each of the following words. Show any assimilation.

Word Formula Analysis
earthquake Free stem + free stem earth + quake
conquest Prefix + free base co\begin{align*}\cancel{m}\end{align*} + n + quest
exquisite Prefix + bound stem ex + quisite
requirement Prefix + bound base + suffix re + quire + ment
request Prefix + free base re + quest
liquor Bound base + suffix -or liqu + or
liquid Bound base + suffix liqui + id
equality Bound base + suffix + suffix equ + al + ity
subsequently Prefix + bound base + suffix -ent + suffix2 sub + sequ + ent + ly
consequently Prefix + bound base + suffix\begin{align*}^1\end{align*} + suffix\begin{align*}^2\end{align*} co\begin{align*}\cancel{m}\end{align*} + n + sequ + ent + ly
turquoise Bound base + suffix -oise turqu + oise
bouquet Bound base + suffix -et bouqu + et
mosquito Bound base + suffix -ito mosqu + ito
frequently Bound base + suffix\begin{align*}^1\end{align*} + suffix\begin{align*}^2\end{align*} frequ + ent + ly

6. In five of the thirty words in Item 1 in which [k] is spelled <q>, the <qu> is part of the cluster <squ> Those five words are:

\begin{align*}squadron && square && squirrel && squeak && squeeze\end{align*}

7. Where does the <squ> cluster come in these five words? At the front

8. The <q> or <qu> that spell [k] are nearly always at the very front or end of the element in which the occur.

Teaching Notes.

Item 5. The bases quest, quis, quire are all closely related and carry the root meaning “seek, ask, inform oneself, ask for.” The base sequ means “follow.” Turqu is French for Turk, turquoise being “the stone from Turkey.” Bouqu carries the root meaning “forest,” and -et is a French diminutive suffix: A bouguet is a little forest. Mosqu means “fly” and -ito is a Spanish diminutive suffix: “little fly.”

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Please to create your own Highlights / Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

Show Hide Details
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
Files can only be attached to the latest version of section
Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original