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5.14: The Combinations [ks] and [kw]

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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1. You can hear the combination [kw] at the beginning of queen.

You can hear the combination [ks] at the end of fix.

2. Underline the letters that spell [ks] or [kw]. In words like likes the <e> is not helping spell the [ks]. It is marking the long vowel, so you should just underline the <k> and <s> :likes.


3. Sort the words into these two groups. Be careful: One word goes into both groups.

Words that Contain [ks]: Words that Contain [kw]:
expense jokes quizzed
blinks remarks squeaks
locks exercise quits
relax mistakes require
squeaks tricks
mixed fox
parks attacks
mechanics weeks

4. In seven words [ks] is spelled <ks>

In six words [ks] is spelled <x>

In three words [ks] is spelled <cks>

In one word [ks] is spelled <cs>

5. Sort the words that contain [ks] into these four groups:

Words with [ks] spelled . . .
<ks> <x> <cks> <cs>
blinks expense locks mechanics
squeaks relax tricks
parks mixed attacks
jokes taxes
remarks exercise
mistakes fox

6. Four ways of spelling [ks] are <ks>, <x>, <cks>, and <cs>.

7. In all the words that contain [kw], how is the [kw] spelled? <qu>. That is the way we spell [kw] just about all the time!

8. How Do You Spell [kw]? The combination [kw] is normally spelled <qu>.

Teaching Notes. The spelling of [kw] is quite straightforward. We say normally in Item 8 because of the only known holdouts: choir, coif, coiffure . In Old English [kw] was regularly spelled <cw>, so queen was spelled cwe¯n. The <cw> spelling was changed to <qu> through the influence of French-speaking scribes during the Middle Ages. For more on <qu>, see AES, pp. 358-60. The spelling of [ks] is considerably more complicated. The students will study it more in the next lesson.

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