# 3.21: More About Deleting Silent Final < e >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## More About Deleting Silent Final <e>

1. First Rule for Deleting Silent Final <e>. If a word ends with a silent <e> that shows that the vowel sound is long, you delete the silent final <e> when you add a suffix that starts with a vowel.

2. Here is the reason for this final <e> deletion: In the word hope you need the <e> for the VCV pattern and to mark <o> as long:

\begin{align*}hope \\ \qquad \quad \text{vcv}\end{align*}

But when you add a suffix that starts with a vowel, such as -ing,the vowel at the front of the suffix can take the place of the <e> in the VCV pattern. You don't need the <e> anymore, so out it goes:

\begin{align*}& hope + ing = hop\cancel{e} + ing = hope \\ & \ \ \mathrm{vcv} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \ \mathrm{vcv}\end{align*}

But if the suffix starts with a consonant, you still need the final <e> to make the VCV pattern, so it's

\begin{align*}& hopeless \ \mathrm{not} \ ^* \mathrm{hopless} \\ & \ \ \mathrm{vcv} \qquad \qquad \mathrm{vcc}\end{align*}

3. Analyze each of these words into a free base and a suffix. Show any final <e>'s that have been deleted. Some of the suffixes may be new to you, but don't worry about that now:

Word = Free Base + Suffix
hoping = hop \begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing
hopes = hope + s
making = mak\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing
makes = make + s
timed = tim\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed
timer = tim\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + er
naming = nam\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + s
names = name + s
cutest = cut\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + est
cutely = cute + ly
closed = clos\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed
closing = clos\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing

4. Combine these free bases and suffixes. Show any final <e> that must be deleted

Free Base + Suffix = word
clos\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed = closed
clos\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + es = closes
hid\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing = hiding
hide + s = hides
hom\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + er = homer
hom\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing = homing
us\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed = used
us\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + er = user
ic\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing = icing
ic\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + y = icy
write + s = writes
writ\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + er = writer

Word Venn. This Word Venn is different from the ones you’ve already done because ithas not just one circle, but two that intersect, or overlap, one another.

Inside circle A you should put only words that end with a silent final <e>. Inside circle Byou should put only words that contain a long vowel sound. So inside area labled 2 you should put only words that (i) end with a silent final <e> and (ii) contain a long vowel sound.

What kind of words should you put outside the circles in area \begin{align*}4\end{align*}?

Words that neither end with a silent final <e> nor contain a long vowel

\begin{align*}& \text{dance} \surd && \text{some} \surd && \text{serve} \surd && \text{once} \surd \\ & \text{white} \surd && \text{cute} \surd && \text{home} \surd && \text{scene} \surd \\ & \text{moon} \surd && \text{too} \surd && \text{boat} \surd && \text{week} \surd \\ & \text{when} \surd && \text{brush} \surd && \text{crab} \surd && \text{think} \surd\end{align*}

Teaching Notes. The point that is being made in this lesson is essentially that our spelling system is efficient: The final <e> is deleted because it is no longer needed to fill out the VCV pattern. For more on silent final <e> and its deletion rule, see chapter 8 of AES, pp. 145-60. For more on the development ofsilent final <e>’s role in the VCVpattern, see AES, \begin{align*}pp. 97-99\end{align*}.

Word Venn. It is important for the students to see that there are four groups defined inthis two-circle Venn: (1) Words with a long vowel but no final <e>, (2) words with both along vowel and a final <e>, (3) words with no long vowel but a final <e>, and (4) words with neither a long vowel nor a final <e>. If they can see how the Venn defines those four groups, they understand the logic.

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