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3.2: The Consonant Sound Eng

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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The Consonant Sound [y], Eng

1. You can hear the sound [m] at the end of rum. You can hear the sound [n] at the end of run. At the end of rung you can hear the sound [y]. The sound [y] is called eng.

2. Most of the time [y] is spelled <ng>, as in rung. But sometimes [y] is spelled <n>.

3 Say the word think. There is a [k] sound right after the [y]: [thiyk]. Put an X beside each word that has a [k] right after the [y]. Counting think, there are three:


4. Say the word tangle. There is a [g] sound right after the [y]. Put an X beside each word that has a [g] right after the [y]. There are four:


5. In think the <k> spells [k], and [y] is spelled <n>. And in tangle the <g> spells [g], and [y] is spelled y. But in most words [y] is spelled <ng>.

6. When there is a [k] or a [g] sound right after the sound [y],[y] is spelled <n> but everywhere else it is spelled <ng>

Word Squares. All but two of these words contain the sound [y], spelled either <ng> or <n>:

Four-letter word: dark

Five-letter words: thank, going, uncle, being

Six-letter words: finger, single, uncles, thinker

Seven-letter words: sunning, monkeys, further, dogging, landing

Eight-letter words: language, hungriest

The two words that do not contain [y] are dark and further

Teaching Notes. The two different spellings of [y] reflect a bit of language history: In Old English [y] was not a separate sound; it was a variation of [n], the sound that [n] assumed before [k] or [g]. In Old English the spelling <ng> was always pronounced as two sounds: [yg], the way it is in, say, single or finger. Over the centuries, because of all the words containing [y] that were adopted from languages like French and Latin, [y] evolved into a separate sound. Its spelling still reflects that Old English pattern. For more on [y], see AES, pp. 435-38.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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