Wednesday, April 4, 2012

McGuffey's Tip of the Week-April 3, 2012

Substitutes Part 2

List of consonant substitutes

c, for k, as in can.
C, for s, as in city.
Ch, for sh, as in chalet.
Ch, for k, as in chaos.
G, for j, as in gem
n, for ng, as in ink.
S, for z, as in as.
S, for sh, as in sure.
X, for gz, as in exact.
Ph, for f, as in phone.
Qu, for k, as in pique
qu, for kw, as in quite

Out of 21 consonants in the English alphabet, there are only three (c, q, and x) that do not make their own unique sounds; that is, they borrow their sounds from other letters. 'C' can sound like 's', as in 'nice' and 'advice', or it can sound like 'k', as in 'coward' and 'cry'. To further complicate the issue, there are some words, such as 'accent' and 'succinct,, where 'c' makes both sounds.
The letter 'q' is another anomaly. In English, the letter 'q' is almost invariably followed by the letter 'u'. (The few words in the dictionary in which 'q' is not followed by 'u' are mostly words that have been borrowed from other languages.) The English 'q+u' combination can be pronounced either as 'kw', as in 'queen', or 'ask', as in 'unique'.  Lastly, the letter 'x' can represent three different sounds. When it appears at the beginning of a word, it usually sounds like 'az', as in 'xylophone'. When it follows the letter 'e' at the beginning of a word it usually makes a 'gs' sound, as in 'exact'. In all other cases, 'x' makes a 'ks' sound, as in 'box' or 'taxi'.

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