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# 3.21: Lesson Twenty-one

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## 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:

$hope \\ \qquad \quad \text{vcv}$

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:

$& hope + ing = hop\cancel{e} + ing = hope \\ & \ \ \mathrm{vcv} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \ \mathrm{vcv}$

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

$& hopeless \ \mathrm{not} \ ^* \mathrm{hopless} \\& \ \ \mathrm{vcv} \qquad \qquad \mathrm{vcc}$

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 $\cancel{e}$ + ing
hopes = hope + s
making = mak$\cancel{e}$ + ing
makes = make + s
timed = tim$\cancel{e}$ + ed
timer = tim$\cancel{e}$ + er
naming = nam$\cancel{e}$ + s
names = name + s
cutest = cut$\cancel{e}$ + est
cutely = cute + ly
closed = clos$\cancel{e}$ + ed
closing = clos$\cancel{e}$ + ing

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

Free Base + Suffix = word
clos$\cancel{e}$ + ed = closed
clos$\cancel{e}$ + es = closes
hid$\cancel{e}$ + ing = hiding
hide + s = hides
hom$\cancel{e}$ + er = homer
hom$\cancel{e}$ + ing = homing
us$\cancel{e}$ + ed = used
us$\cancel{e}$ + er = user
ic$\cancel{e}$ + ing = icing
ic$\cancel{e}$ + y = icy
write + s = writes
writ$\cancel{e}$ + 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 $4$?

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

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

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, $pp. 97-99$.

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.

## Subjects:

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

## Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Apr 29, 2014
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