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3.4: The Consonant Sounds [f] and [v]

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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The Consonant Sounds [f] and [v]

1. You can hear the sound [f] at the end of leaf. You can hear the sound [v] at the end of leave.

2. Usually [f] is spelled <f>, but sometimes it is spelled <ff>, sometimes <ph>, sometimes <gh>.

The sound [v] is spelled <v> — except in one word, where it is spelled <f>. Underline the letters that spell [f] and [v]:

e\underline{v}ensa\underline{f}ely\underline{v}isitorga\underline{v}e\underline{f}i\underline{f}tha\underline{f}ter\underline{ph}oneco\underline{ff}eeele\underline{ph}anto\underline{f}enou\underline{gh}fi\underline{v}e\underline{f}urtherhandcu\underline{ff}ssti\underline{ff}e\underline{v}erylau\underline{gh}\underline{f}ollowli\underline{f}e\underline{f}ather

3. Now sort the words into these groups. One word goes into two groups:

Words With [f] Spelled <f>
safely five life
fifth further father
after follow
Words with [f] spelled <ff> Words with [f] spelled <gh> Words with [f] spelled <ph>
coffee enough phone
stiff laugh elephant
handcuffs
Words with [v] spelled <v> Word with [v] spelled <f>
even five of
visitor every
gave

4. Four ways of spelling [f] are <f>, <ff>, <gh> and <ph>

5. How Do You Spell [v]? Except in the word of, [v] is Spelled <v>

Word Find. Find the twelve words that contain the sound [n]:

elephantcenturyphoneknowbrownplanningdinnercannotrunningneverchildrensound

Write the twelve words in alphabetical order:

1. brown

2. cannot

3. century

4. children

5. dinner

6. elephant

7. know

8. never

9. phone

10. planning

11. running

12. sound

Teaching Notes.

Item 5. The statement that [v] is spelled <v> except in of is a good and useful one. But it does omit some complications that you may or may not want to bring up to your students. The consonant letter <v> is a fairly new addition to our alphabet. Earlier <v> was simply a variant form of <u>, and the two were used to spell both the consonant sound [v] and various vowel sounds. It was not until the 17th century that our present distinction between the letters <u> and <v> was firmly fixed. The constraint against doubling <v> parallels that against doubling <u>. Double <u> became a separate letter, <w>, which in print actually looks like double <v>! It is this constraint against doubling <v> that leads to words like ever and never rather than evver and nevver. However,in a few very recent formations <vv> does occur: revved and revving from rev, itselfclipped from revolution; divvy from dividend or divide; savvy from the Spanish sabe;and flivver, of unknown origin.

A second minor spelling of [v] occurs in just three words: calve, halve, and salve, and their inflected forms, in which [v] is spelled <lv>. The reason for the <l>’s having fallen silent is not clear. Notice that the [l] persists in words like salvage and valve. For more on [v], see AES, pp. 373-77; for [f] see pp. 377-384. For the alternation between [f] and [v], as in life/live, shelf/shelves, elf/elves, wolf/wolves, half/halve, etc, see AES, pp. 374.

If you would like to have the students work with <lv>spelling of [v], you might have themdo the following worksheet:

One More Spelling of [v]

How Do You Spell [v]? Except in the word _______, [v] is spelled _____. That is a good and useful rule, but there is one other spelling of [v] that occurs in only three words. Find the three words in the following list and then fill in the blanks:

evenVisitorof gaveCalve fivehalveeverysalve

How Do you spell [v]? Except in the words_________, _________ and ________ in which it is spelld ________ and in the word ____ in which it is spelled _____, [v] is spelled ____.

One More Spelling of [v]

How DoYou Spell [v]?

Except in the word of. [v] is spelled <v>. That is a good and useful rule, but there is one other spelling of [v] that occurs in only three words. Find the three words in the following list and then fill in the blanks:

evenVisitorof gaveCalve fivehalveeverysalve

How Do You Spell [v]? Except in the words calve, halve, and salve in which it is spelled <lv> and in the word of in which it is spelled <f>, [v] is spelled <v>.

Teaching Note. If students should ask about the silent final <e> in calve, halve, and salve, tell them that in English we tend to avoid ending words with <v> or <u> and that we sometimes use a silent final <e> to insulate, or cover up, a <v> or <u> that otherwise would come at word's end. This use of <e> as an insulator is studied in Book 4, Lesson 17. Also, see AES, p. 147.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
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CK.ENG.ENG.TE.1.Basic-Speller.3.4