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Homophones with [\bar{\mathrm{u}}]

1. Underline the letters that spell [\bar{\mathrm{u}}] in the following words:

 &\text{l\underline{o}se} && \text{ch\underline{oo}se} && \text{ch\underline{ew}s} && \text{t\underline{o}} && \text{l\underline{oo}se}\\& \text{bl\underline{ew}} && \text{tw\underline{o}} && \text{st\underline{u}dent} && \text{n\underline{ew}} && \text{y\underline{ou}}\\& \text{t\underline{oo}} && \text{y\underline{ew}} && \text{thr\underline{ou}gh}&& \text{tr\underline{u}ly} &&\text{sh\underline{o}es}\\& \text{sh\underline{oo}s} &&\text{kn\underline{ew}} &&\text{bl\underline{u}e} && \text{thr\underline{ew}} && \text{s\underline{u}icide}

2. In English we have many cases of two or more words that sound the same even though they mean different things and are spelled differently. Such words are called homophones. The base homo means “same,” and the base phone means “sound.” So homophones have the same sound, but different meanings and spellings. Several homophones contain the sound [\bar{\mathrm{u}}]. The list above contains one set of three homophones, three words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Find them and write them here:

 & too && two && to

3. The list contains six pairs of words that are homophones. Write the six pairs here:

Word #1 Word #2
blew blue
shoos shoes
choose chews
yew you
knew new
through threw

4. When you are trying to keep the different spellings of homophones clear in your mind, it helps to put them into groups. For instance, in the to, too, two set, it helps to remember that two is related to other words with the meaning “two,” like twice, twin, and twelve. Remembering that set can help you remember the <w> in two.

And sometimes you simply have to think of little tricks that can help. For instance, in the to, too set the word too has an extra <o>. It has one too many <o>'s.

Be ready to discuss these questions:

What words are threw, knew, and blew related to that can help you remember the <w>?

Can you think of other patterns or tricks to help you with the homophones choose and chews? You and yew? Shoes and shoos?

5. Pairs like loose and lose are not pronounced the same so they are not quite homophones, but they are enough alike in sound and spelling to be confusing. It can help to remember that lose is related to lost. If you lose something, it is lost. And both lose and lost contain just one <o>. It might help, too, to remember that loose rhymes with goose; you will probably find it easier to remember the <oo> in goose.

Word Find. “H” is for homophone. This Find gives you a chance to work some more with homophones that contain the sound [\bar{\mathrm{u}}]. We give you clue words. In the puzzle you are to find the homophones for the clue words. There are twenty clue words but twenty-two homophones in the puzzle because two of the clue words, due and to, have two homophones each rather than just one. Here are the clues. We've given you a start:

&\text{threw} \surd && \text{shoos} \surd && \text{crews} \surd && \text{rued} \surd \\&\text{new} \surd && \text{flu} \surd && \text{crewed} \surd && \text{due}\surd\\&\text{chews} \surd && \text{roomer} \surd && \text{brews} \surd && \text{to}\surd\\&\text{blew} \surd && \text{tooter} \surd && \text{brewed} \surd && \text{route} [\text{r}\bar{\text{u}}\text{t}]\surd\\&\text{yew} \surd && \text{you'll} \surd && \text{mooed} \surd && \text{slough} [\text{sl}\bar{\text{u}}] \surd

After you have found as many of the homophones as you can, write them in alphabetical order:

  1. blue
  2. brood
  3. bruise
  4. choose
  5. crude
  6. cruise
  7. dew
  8. do
  9. flew
  10. knew
  11. mood
  12. root
  13. rude
  14. rumor
  15. shoes
  16. slew
  17. through
  18. too
  19. tutor
  20. two
  21. you
  22. yule

Teaching Notes.

Item1. In shoes students may want to underline <oe> rather than <o>, but we treat this as a case where the <e> is marking a preceding vowel as long. In through they may want to underline <ough>. That <gh> poses real problems. We treat it as a silent diacritic, somewhat like silent final <e>.

Item 2. For the related terms homograph and homonym, see the teaching notes to Book 4, Lesson 31.

Item 2. In Old English there was a preposition spelled <to> and an adverb also spelled <to>. The preposition meant basically what our preposition to means today; the adverb meant “furthermore, moreover,” basically what our too means today. In time the Old English adverb added that extra <o>, to give it more weight: The preposition to tended to be unstressed in sentences: “They went t' school.” But the adverb, which became our too, tended to be stressed because it was more emphatic: “They did too go t'school!” That extra stress and weight is the reason for the extra <o> in too.

Item 3. For the record, knew and new have a third homophone: gnu.

Item 4. For more on these <tw> words see the teaching notes to Book 4, Lesson 30.Re: threw, knew, and blew: The related words we're interested in here are throw, know, and blow. The question about choose, chews and the others is more open-ended. Possible observations: Choose is related to chose, also with <o>. One thing you chew is chow, also with <w>. You is related to your, also with <ou>. “A bird flew out of the dew-covered yew.” “He hoes his garden without any shoes.” “His shoes pinch his toes.” That sort of thing.

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Feb 23, 2012

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Apr 29, 2014
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